Unfathomable. Shocking. Madness. It just got worse and worse and worse. Perfectly and cleanly executed and carefully calculated. Get attention and then make it even worse – expose the weakness and then push the knife farther and farther – wipe that smug smirk off the face of this earth. They evacuated my building and I’m home now. They’ve shut down O’Hare and Midway and all the trains and buses are running at rush hour volume. They’ve cleared the entire financial district – the Sears Tower being the main concern as they tow every unattended car in sight… Nobody in the elevators or on the train or on the bus is talking. There’s nothing to say. I’ve never experienced something of this magnitude. My imagination begins building scenes not hinted at – the terror being in a plane heading towards a building, seeing the plane from the building… feeling the ceiling give way and crush you… the families, the lives lost, the terror. The fucking unspeakable horror of knowing it’s coming and not being able to do a god-damned thing. I choke up washing my hands in the bathroom at work – thinking of the death. The swath of destruction cut through classes, generations, ethnicities… people jumping out of the building. My heart is soaked in grief. I’m trying to call friends in New York all circuits are busy now, the cellphone networks are all jammed with traffic. I called Ron (he works for United) and he was grounded in LA, sobbing on the cellphone – there was a bomb threat at his hotel and he’s out on the streets with nothing but his clothes he’s wearing and his phone. Heather emailed trying to contact me since the phones were jammed. I called mom and dad and left a message at home. Suddenly my to-do list is driven down to one simple task: ‘Call those you love.’ Everything falls away and survival is the only imperative. I’m immediately conscious of the news programs beginning to distill and package the story for quicker consumption… ‘America Under Attack’ is the title of this movie on CNN. Though if this were a movie it would have just been one plane crashing – a mother and daughter holding eachother as the swarthy hijackers grin evilly and aim the plane towards the building. All of this before the opening credits. No one could have written this – a second plane, a third plane, another crash and then the implosions – the decimation and the desolation. Yet someone imagined it and thought it valuable to make real. An out of control reporter on WGN chattering: ‘We’re going to war! This is war!’ A guy in a meeting I attended this morning was ranting and raving about immediate action – regardless of any kind of logic or target – that kind of talk scares me. I want to be there, witnessing, cataloging, chronicling. I think of people running across to avoid the collapse of the buildings – perhaps running through the memorial park from the bombing just a few years ago. The sky has fallen. I fear what the next few weeks will bring. And will they dare to re-release the movie Pearl Harbor. The most moving testimony so far has been a live cellphone call with a CNBC reporter – she’s nearly crying oh my God it’s like a oh my God we can’t breathe we kept running we broke down a door to get out of the smoke are you okay oh my God it looks like a warzone.