I was awake, but still lying in bed. I heard a noise. It was a soft drone which soon turned into a cacophony. I heard it go right over my building, shaking the windows. An unnatural sound of machinery reverberated off the streets and through the buildings. My first thought was, "That sounded like a missile." Of course, I had never heard a missile in real life before, but the sound was just so loud, so fast, and so powerful I didn't know what else to think. My second thought was, "That can't be good." I got up to piss and have a piece of pie (my breakfast of choice at the time) and decided to turn on the TV to make sure that nothing bad actually happened. I thought maybe if worse came to worse a plane crashed downtown. The TV revealed the gaping hole, and they were saying a plane had crashed into the tower. I thought maybe it was a small, private plane, not thinking about how wide the tower actually was, or maybe thinking that a passenger jet couldn't just crash there. I called a friend of mine who lived in a high rise just a few block away, facing the towers. After he picked up I asked him, "Did any strange noises wake you up this morning?" And for the next fifteen minutes we, like everyone else in the world wondered if this were just an accident or something more. I was watching on TV while he was looking out the window when the second plane hit. I heard his wife scream in the background and I said, "Dude, we're under attack." He said, "I'll call you later." I debated about going down there with my camera, but I figured I'd probably get run over accidentally by some kind of emergency vehicle. I spent the rest of the morning watching it all unfold on TV, sometimes losing my shit completely, and wondering if I'd be alive by the end of the night, wondering if this weren't the start of World War III. There are a lot of moments from that day and the surreal days that followed that I could write about here, but not now. Ten years on, I still pause when I hear aircraft that seem a bit too loud. I'll mute the TV and wait for the sound to recede, just to make sure that everything's okay. What does that day mean to me? This event that affected me personally as a resident of NYC and as an American? I still don't know. It's affected us all in various ways, both mental and physical. My friend who I talked about earlier has since had several major surgeries and suffers from ailments affecting his lungs, stomach, and kidneys, which can all be traced to that toxic soup that hung in the air downtown and which rose from the fires that burned for three months after the attack. I don't know how to wrap this up.