The day was diamond-clear, warm where there was sun and cool where there wasn't. No clouds. That was then, and that was today too. This morning my route took me onto a boat across the river, facing into the sun where it rose over the mountain. On the far shore, I entered my train and we followed the waterway south.
The hijackers had done this too; from the north this river is a signpost to the metropolis at its mouth. It gave the city life with its downward flow and betrayed it by revealing its location to its enemies that day. They navigated by its winding path and sped over its waters to strike.
My watch revealed that I would arrive at the station at the same moment the first plane reached its target, and as I looked at landmarks passing, I could only imagine the jetliners coursing over the wavelets on that clear day. Past the nuke plant. Over the bridges. Through the highlands. Despoilers.
Stepping off the train at the terminal I heard an announcement that it was 8:46. Traffic slowed and stopped. A hush fell. A minute. Mostly silent, mostly still, we stood. Reflected. Waited, perhaps, for the next beat of that fell drum. Missed people. Missed the innocent tides and clear waters of that diamondlike morning which seems so long ago now.
And the minute passed, and we went on into our city.