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The ramblings and observations of a kidney transplant recipient, although not necessarily for that reason.

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From Hell To Hell and Back to Hell and Back Home Again (Part Eight)
Monday, October 09, 2006
(Its part eight because we're back in the USA now, not because I don't know that the word for eight in Spanish is ocho.)

The TV news on Monday morning indicated that planes had begun flying. There were many flights cancelled, though. There was such a long delay in flying, the airlines didn't have all the right planes in the right places to correctly accomodate all their scheduled flights. It would take them a few days to shuffle all the planes back to where they belong. When I called our airline, they let me know my plane would be going out.

Jim and I cabbed over to the airport and did all the usual things people do when they arrive at an airport to board a flight. Check bags, get boarding passes, get coffee while making your way to the gate, check in at gate. It was all very routine. I had spent so much time out of the country, participating in celebrations, and working out my plans that I never really thought much about how wierd it would feel to sit on a plane the first day they flew after 9/11. The very second I took my seat I cried. I cried hard and I wasn't the only one.

I was done making plans. The next part of my trip was already in order. Once the flight took off, there were no more question marks. I hadn't realized how much time and emotion the planning, helping, schedule correcting, etc. had occupied. Worrying about my plans and the plans of others had blocked me from giving too much thought to what was going on in the world and now I had a 3 hour flight to really let my brain air it out. I didn't read, watch a movie, eat, sleep, or listen to music. I just sat there and let my body and mind work out a week's worth of suppressed emotion. And it was impossible not to feel some connection to the passengers on the planes that died. As little as I will ever truly undestand about their pain, just the view of the seat-back and thinking how it was the last thing they saw was enought to make you think you somehow understand.

Sometimes, when I'm reading or listening to other peoples' accounts of their 9/11 experiences, I feel like they're telling me to say "look how connected I was to that day". That's exactly how I felt right at that moment on the plane, but now I think of the hours I sat their crying, connecting myself peronally to the events and I shamefully look back and wonder why I felt like I had any right to make such a connection. I don't feel it now. I couldn't be any more of an outsider to the events of that day. I don't know anyone who died and it feels selfish to think of my own pain on these days. I am hoping that by the morning of 9/11/2011, I can awake without this memory being my first thought of the day.

This is the last part of my story*.

*It will cost anyone who wants to hear about the 70 lb. tuna and the dangerous stripper incident a couple beers to hear the tales of Cabo San Lucas. And believe it or not, those are not the same story.
posted by othur-me @ 4:25 PM  
  • At 6:55 PM, Blogger rawbean said…

    I just wanted to let you know I enjoyed all eight parts of your story and kept checking back for updates! Well written!

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