Nine years ago today, I was late for work. I came out of the subway on that gorgeous, blue-skied morning, bought a paper and a muffin, and took the elevator to the 44th floor of the New York building on Madison Avenue.

The office was quiet; no one was at their desks. They were all standing in the office of the president of the company--that amazing office with that fabulous view that I'd envied for a year and two months, since the day I'd started my very first job out of college.

They all just stood there, staring out the window.

Taking in the view.

And then I was standing with them. And we chattered, like we were watching television.

We could see the smoke. We knew that there had been two planes. We knew that something terrible had happened, but it never crossed our minds that something terrible had happened.

"So strange...two planes."
"Maybe something went wrong with air traffic control somewhere?"
"You don't think they'll collapse, do you?"
"No...come on. They're huge."

The last was said with a little, nervous laugh, as though we all knew what was coming, but wanted one more moment to savor that quiet, idyllic before. The before that would give way to the never-ending after.


The weather is gorgeous today. Not a cloud in the sky. Just the way it was on that far-away Tuesday morning. There is a plane flying high above Brooklyn--one of hundreds that go by every day, so constant that I no longer hear them.

But I heard that one.