Writing Prompt 3: Listen
Sound: dead phone line (from Amy)
I disappeared on September 11th, 2001, just like three thousand other people who woke up that Tuesday and set off for work.
Well. Not exactly like them. They’ve been buried so long they’re not even there anymore. I’m here. Here, telling you this.
I know what you’ll think once I explain. How horrible to exploit such a tragedy for my selfish advantage. I know because I think it myself. I try to rationalize it, telling myself that at least I’m better than the terrorists who were brainwashed into doing it, better than the politicians who built their careers shouting about it, better than the street vendors selling postcards of the towers before the ashes settled on Canal Street. I don’t believe it myself, though, so I don’t expect you to.
I’m a bit like the ones that were lost, though. Some of them tried desperately to stay alive. What I did that day was to stay alive, too. Can you believe me? I had my reasons, I promise you.
And do you think I’m the only one? I know most of those people didn’t want to disappear. They couldn’t wait to finish their day and go home to a chubby baby in a high chair, or slip onto a barstool next to the person they were falling for, or hell, maybe swing the door open to see their dog. I know most of those people would never have chosen to leave their lives.
But didn’t you ever wonder if there was somebody who saw the planes hit, saw the towers fall, saw the world’s city descend into chaos and clouds of death – and instead of being paralyzed with shock, being electrified by the need to run to safety, to loved ones – instead of being terrified by the hell and the horror – didn’t you ever wonder if there was even one person who saw it all and realized, “This is my chance”?
It doesn’t make me proud to say that sunny Tuesday was the best day of my life. I know that it was the worst for many. I know it took fathers and mothers, wives and husbands, sons and daughters, sisters and brothers, and its ripples have been doing it ever since. I know it took so much. But for me – it gave me everything. I knew it would as soon as the phone went dead in my hand.
The other writing prompts
2. Opening line – “I love that book!” (Erin)
1. Gesture – “flail” (Britt)