I remember waking up, thinking it funny that the news was on the television. Amy and I often fell asleep to tv, usually a channel like TNT or USA because they played those cop shows we would watch until we fell asleep. We must have been watching Jay Leno that night as NBC was now on. That was odd and portentous, to start with, almost as if we were destined to see this first thing in the morning. Without that tv being tuned as it was, living in Washington state, we probably would have gone to work and first heard it on the radio.
I woke up first, as usual, and thought it queer--somebody flew into this Tower in New York. To be honest, I didn't know the Twin Towers from any other building as I have never been to New York. I actually thought that some idiot had flown into it by accident. I remember whispering to Amy this same phrase as she dozed.
As I was getting dressed, watching with that casual disinterest as most news days start, I remember watching the second plane coming in, toward the other tower. With bewilderment, I wondered what was going on, and watched it, live on tv, smash into the second tower. That woke me up.
I didn't know what to think. I couldn't comprehend what was actually happening. I left for work...I had to. I was still in mortgages at the time, still at Puget Sound Mortgage and Escrow in Port Orchard, but I went into the Poulsbo office that day for a processor's meeting. The tv was on at work and I walked in as the building collapsed, so I saw that live on tv as well.
It seemed so far away at the time. Everything shut down so mortgages were pretty much done for the day. I still had some work to do, and I drove to Port Orchard.
I remember the oddest thing about the whole situation that I felt while driving home is that there were no planes in the air. I couldn't overcome that. For the first time in almost 98 years, there were no planes flying overhead, all the time. Couldn't fathom that.
All my other reactions came later, when the news had had time to process and digest information. I was saddened and proud at the same time for the members of the NY Fire Department who bounded up those steps, only to never come back down. I honestly thought that was one of the worst and proudest moments you could ever combine. So it was hard to feel anything specific about the day.
I do remember thinking that the shit had really hit the fan on a worldwide scale.