So every year I post this story I wrote some time ago. Thought I would share it with my fellow 'Chatters.
It was typical of a day, almost uneasily so. The papers on my desk that was surrounded by the knit walls of the cubical were stacked a foot higher than normal. The phone was ringing louder than in the past, and the passing of the workers quickened with each ticking second. The view from where I was is what could be consider breathtaking. No more than 1500 cubicles, lined up in row after row, I winced to see the other side of the large farm of office workers and I saw the light that shined from the windows that beset the vicinity, though I could not see beyond that shimmer to the outside.
Then there was a crash and a shake as I looked up again from the keyboard, looking towards toward the prairie. I felt the tingling of goose bumps rise across my skin as I heard a sudden scream- laughter maybe. For how long I stared, Iím not sure. Time didnít exist for that moment and existence melted away revealing flame, screams, heat, pain and death.
My phone rang.
Yes, no problem. 11 oíclock tomorrow would be fine. Conference room 9 is fine.
I breathed in, rather shallow and exhaled slowly as I sat back into my chair. Reality.
The phone rings.
No, Iím fine, just a little tired. Thanks. Lunch? Fine. The Eleventh street sounds terrific. Bye.
The hair on my neck began to rise again as my feet planted firmly on the carpet floor. The wall exploded in fire and pain. I saw her arm fly past me. The wall painting of balloons disintegrated and the fake plastic plants melted into a green goo. Move it, I thought, as a sharp pain entered my side. I had bumped into the cubical wall again. I spilt my coffee on my leg again. I spilt it on the computer keyboard again.
IT Department said the voice on the other end.
I need a new keyboard. This one doesnít work anymore.
Not until tuesday morning.
Row 9, cube 11.
The world moved once more as I found myself checking my pocket for my car keys. My briefcase was in my hand and I was pushing the glass door open. I held it for a girl in my department. She thanked me and I walked to my car. The sun sun gleamed on the window and a thought struck me as I looked back at the one story office building I came from.
Tomorrow is September 11th. The one year anniversary of the World Trade Center attack. I considered for a moment, reflected on the images that are burned in our brains forever and leaned against my car. I wasnít sure what it was all about, nor why the images of business men hiding under a desk as fire explodes around them, or the secretary walking into the copy room to make copies of the monthly report for her boss. I see the father calling his wife, I can see clearly firefighters walking up stairs. I feel suddenness. I see flames, I see fire, I feel pain and grief and I donít know how to fit it all together into something; a word or image.
and I donít know what that could possibly be?