I’ve never had coherent words for 9/11, which is why I’m forever grateful that John M. Ford did: 110 Stories.

I remember waking up, hearing a mention of an airplane hitting a building on the radio, and hitting the snooze button. Only later, when I turned on the TV–because I’d realized what building it was that had been hit–and saw instead an image of the Pentagon burning, did I feel a distant sort of fear, and wonder, “What’s happening here?”

I remember realizing just how far 2000 miles are when airplanes don’t fly. I’d moved away from New York willingly, even gladly, and never once missed it; but just then, I felt about the city the way you might feel about a relative you have a troubled relationship with: you might not even be talking to them, but when they’re hurt, you feel like you should be there, even if you have no idea what you would do if you were.

I remember going on a hike a few days later, looking up at the solid stone of the Catalina mountains where I’d made my home instead, and thinking–these mountains were there long before us, and they’ll be there long after us, no matter what else happens. The comfort I took from that thought was deep, deep–but I don’t really have the right words for that, either.

I still don’t have words, just a mix of sorrow and anger–at the events of the day, and at much of what’s happened in the seven years since, too.

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