It's been eight years since the terrorist attacks. Time to do my annual list of ways in which I was not involved.
*I was not in NYC at the time. I was 5 miles away, across the Hudson Bay, in Bayonne.
*I had quit my job that took me through the World Trade Center twice a day 5 months before the attacks.
*I had no reason to leave Bayonne, which was important. The only way off of Bayonne was over one of several bridges, and all the bridges were closed for 3-4 days afterward.
*My husband's school was close by - again, no bridge-crossing necessary - and he made it home without a problem.
*Not a single person I knew died. Not a one.
*We could see the plume from our neighborhood, but our apartment had no windows facing in that direction.
*I artfully avoided watching the TV footage for years. In fact, earlier this year was the first time I saw it. I watched Bowling For Columbine this past summer, and it contained the footage.
*I artfully avoided visiting Ground Zero until my friend dragged me to it the following January. She needed closure. She'd been visiting us the weekend before, and we'd all gone into the city to do touristy things with her. In the evening, I was tired, so I went home alone while she and my husband went to the very top of the Empire State Building. So I didn't have the experience of "being on top of a skyscraper mere days before 9/11" and she did.
*I no longer live in NYC. Nobody is going to attack Cape Cod. Unless they go after Otis AFB. Haha, good luck with that, man. Otis is equipped and ready.
There we go. I was reasonably nearby when it happened, but I was not personally involved. I do have some sense of loss, though. What do I miss the most? Under the WTC was a big sprawling underground mall. It had a Barnes & Noble, a Gap, and a gourmet bakery, among other stores. I'd walk all the way through it, on my way from the A train to the PATH station, and pass a privately owned deli. And sometimes, if I was really tired and thirsty, I'd stop in and get a Snapple or a lemonade. And sometimes a cookie.
I miss that deli.
Aw. Now I have tears in my eyes. In my defense, though, it was a nice little deli. I wonder if the owners survived. The whole mall was destroyed, you know, although it didn't happen immediately. They were able to get the trains out of the subway stations at both ends of the mall before the stations collapsed, thereby saving the lives of the people on the trains.
I don't know about the people waiting for the trains, whether they were evacuated in time. I don't think about it very much anymore. What happened, happened. Can't change it now.