#458 | Tuesday, December 11th 2001
"A few minutes later,towers collapsed" 9/10/01 Gavin Heck

I was at home 3-4 blocks from the Empire State Building having just walked the dog, I got online and my girlfriend who works 3 blocks from the WTC asked me on IM if I had heard anything about a bomb or missle hitting the WTC as when she was exiting the wall street stop flaming paper was falling from the sky.

I turned on CNN and saw that a plane had hit. I told her and she went downstairs at 100 Broadway to smoke. She saw the second plane hit, and rushed upstairs. We talked online a bit and she left to go to the bathroom. The towers fell and all communication went away. I wasn't sure if she was alive, and I had to go to work, avoiding the UN avoiding Time Square. I had a meeting that hadn't been cancelled. I sat in the meeting and wondered if I would ever see her again, ever wake before her and kiss her awake. People were talking about projects and plans as if everything was the same. Finally I got email from her boss that she was o.k. that they were walking to safety.

I wrote this the day before:

“DREAMLAND WAS NOTHING”* © Gavin Heck 9/10/01

The joint owners of Dreamland
Bought and brought to your head
Then decided not to rebuild
Painted it red
They were politicians

Pollute - icians
Bellowing the dreamland fire
There would be nothing to replace it
While you were sleeping, huff, huff dream
Dreamland began to burn

It became a blazing torch
Freud stopped by, high
A few minutes later, towers collapsed
Falling down, falling down
Your lion climbed up the incline

Following the cat's bloody footprints
Find humans, strange creatures
Make-like-nature in small spaces
Huff, huff enough
Bangs… and ashes are ashes

I wrote this the day of 9/11.


State of emergency, all smoked out
Evacuation of Manhattan is recommended
1. No one throws stones
An apartment window was open
Concrete, stainless immutable

The birds of peace flew in
Hiding from the day
Ducking the birds of prey
Are the subways working?
The floor was (and remains) shark infested

Jumping from pillow to pillow
2. Be thankful you weren’t killed
Can you imagine sharks attacking
Sleepy commuters
Victims with burns and head injuries

3. Get a cleaning lady (person)
Did she make it out?
Even if all others give up
4. If every single person grabs a stone
5. I must feel alone, stone-less, mutable, dis-armed

Feeling, flaming paper coming from the sky
For us, we are all in this together
Going to go snag some food and water
Dove behind my bed (not the bird the action)
I dreamt my house was on fire

Hope she is far away right now
Saw the flames coming out
The top of the building start to fall
6. Seek, create, imagine stone-less Utopia
Took a cab, crying on the bus made me
feel strange

I woke up bright eyed and ready to go to work at 8:30
Both towers later collapsed.
It is not the way for me
Like watching a sea wave breaking on the shore
7. Water the subliminal hope (daily upon rising)

Just some more folks who hate America
Stay where you are
Keep your head down
Kiss the ground having made it home safe
Home, the home of souls (safe)

Fight the subliminal hype (or don’t be so surprised when those seeds you planted grow
into weeds that break through your concrete)
Landing, I seek the pure land
Last night the boss asked me to please come in on time
We could go to a Goth club and listen to our darkness

Dance like robots
Like a tornado
Like the game I played as a kid
Must evacuate
8. Must keep believing

My friend thinks its ww3 is starting
Or perhaps just hopelessness
9. Lets embrace hopelessness (then breathe and release it)
Paper covers rock
200 years old but have made so many enemies

She was ok but her building is only 3 blocks away
Since I was old enough to know that my father died for this country
Wished that someone would come and erase it
It will be a nice day other than the terrorism
10. The attachment is absolute (breathe and release it)

The beginning of the end
Life as we know it is over
The building exploded in my face
A big balloon of smoke
News people just advised to leave Manhattan

Then came down for a cigarette and saw the second hit
I fell back asleep...
They are closing everything
The Brooklyn bridge is open, thousands of people are walking it
Walt Whitman would be happy

Thing about terrorism is that really
We are all walking on pillows on the floor (floor equals water, spaces equal sharks)
We are the sharks and the water and the fear
We don’t live in the state where understanding covers action (paper covers rock)
Compassion can also thrive on the rockiest soil (You ok?)


This morning (12/11) while walking the dog I looked up and saw a plane and started crying.
I am moving to brooklyn soon.




J | 37 | New York

#436 | Monday, December 10th 2001
I was on my way to work when they announced on the radio that a plane had hit the WTC. I grabbed my cell phone and called home to have my wife turn on the news to see what was going on. As we were discussing the crash I could hear my son (12) in the back ground saying "Mom! What's that plane doing?!" To which she replied, "It's probably just a news helicopter'. As she turned to see the TV, they both watched in horror as the second plane hit. This will be in everyone's memory - forever...
P | 37 | Minnesota

#429 | Monday, December 10th 2001
My wife, two children, and myself were at my wife's families abandoned cabin (shack) in the hills of West Virginia. Being from Iowa, it was unusual for us to be so near the East Coast, and ironically we were no more than 60 miles from the crash site in southern Pennsylvania.

The "shack" has electricity, but we rarely have the radio or television that we bring with us turned on. Reception is non-existent. We were beginning our return trip home, and decided to stop by Tygart Dam, 80 miles south of Pittsburgh. The place was deserted. I assumed that because it was off-season we missed our opportunity to visit the museum. That was when the Ranger from the State Park informed us that the park was closed due to terrorist threats, and that we needed to leave.

It was surreal – this very sane looking man, in a position of authority was telling us the World Trade Towers had been struck by airliners. I thought it was a joke… I laughed, and explained that we had been back in the mountains and hadn’t heard any news in several days. He told us all air traffic had been grounded. Not possible – never been done – COULDN’T be done!

Why would this man of authority be joking around like this? What was REALLY happening? Did he tell me the towers had COLLAPSED??? I MUST have misunderstood. I KNEW it was not possible! We turned on the radio, and as reality began to sink in, I could think of nothing but driving the 1,000 miles home to… safety? What did that mean – what does that mean anymore?

Not a day goes by in this mess when I don’t give thanks that I live in rural Iowa. I have many friends on the East Coast, and I often wish they would give up life in the fast lane and move to a “safer” location. It seems like the terrorist attacks happened years ago. Life has changed, and yet it goes on much the same.

Ray | 37 | Iowa

#371 | Saturday, December 8th 2001
I work for the Idaho Humane Society. On the morning of September 11, 2001 I was talking to my boss in her office where she had a radio going. We stopped all conversation when the report of the first plane hitting was reported. We scrambled around and found a couple televisions. Then we heard about the second...then the third. Everyone was devistated. It was so unreal. We are not far from the Boise Airport. We watched planes land after ordered. This was also unreal. I personally didnt lose anyone close to me in these terrible crashes, however, I have friends who did. My brother had a friend lose his life in the Pentagon. For two weeks solid I watched CNN. I cried so much during that time. I prayed this country would survive. Then I watched as this country pulled together and showed patriotism. I watched as flags became impossible to find. I watched public figures cry and talk about God. These are the kinds of things I have heard my parents talk about from years long ago. I believe this country will get back to the faith and patriotism of years past. This war isnt over. But it is a war that must happen. As an American, I am proud of our leaders. As a person, I hurt for those who lost loved ones...and for those who will lose loved ones in the future. September 11th made a huge impact in my life. Never again will I think nothing like this could happen in a great country like America. I will never forget that fateful day. As I'm sure nobody else will either.
Deb | 37 | Idaho

#332 | Saturday, December 8th 2001
I had just walked out of the CompUSA on 5th Avenue (Manhattan) when I heard all of the commotion. I saw everyone staring skyward, downtown. Of course, I turned to see what everyone was looking at. That was when I saw the plume of smoke coming from the first tower. I began walking downtown, when the second plane hit. This is when I realized that I do not want to be downtown, as a matter of fact, I didn't want to be in NYC at all. I went back to my place of business (up on 50th), and began scouring the Internet for news. That day was hell, and so was the commute home to New Jersey. All bridges and tunnels closed. I think I made it home around 2am.

But, thank God, I made it home. I pray for the families of those most affected everyday. Osama needs to die.

Sign | 37 | New Jersey

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