I just saw "United 93". I didn't want to see it at all, but it was my mom's turn to pick the movie, and she said "Quiero ver la del avion". So I saw it. Actually, not really. I just couldn't get into it. The whole time I just sat there freaked out, looking at the faces of the people around me watching it. They looked freaked out too. So this isn't a review or anything. All I have to say is "too soon". But it did bring back a lot of memories. Everyone has memories of that shitty time. These are mine.
The alarm rang at around 8, but I decided not to get up just yet. My carpool girls, Hilda and some quiet girl whose name I forgot, would pick me up around 9:15, so I had time to lay around. So I went back to sleep, but then the phone rang. It was Hilda.
"Jesus Vanessa, you still asleep?!"
"Get up! We're under attack! They just blew up the World Trade Center!"
"THEY BLEW UP THE TRADE CENTER! TURN ON THE TV!"
Hilda sounded weird. Too excited. It was too early to be that excited. I turned on the TV. They were showing what looked like an action movie. The buildings were all burning. I got out of my room, and went over to the living room. My Nino and Nina were watching the news too, and my nina was on the phone, talking to my mom, or my uncle.
"mira nada mas, mija." and "Tu mami y tu tio estan bien"
Well, why wouldn't they be OK?!!
I stood there and watched the news with them a while, then I went to my room and watched it there, too. At some point I got dressed, and at some point my carpool girls drove up. I left to work.
Hilda was still worked up. She talked in an excited tone the whole way. She had the news on in the car, they kept repeating the attack, over and over. The quiet girl just sat there next to her, quiet. Then she started crying. She didn't make a sound, but she was shaking. Hilda changed the station, 'til she found music. The music sounded oddly fake.
"Put the news back on" the quiet girl said.
"Yeah, I think you'd better" I said.
Hilda kept being excited. She would repeat whatever the news guy said, like a parrot. The quiet girl kept quiet. And I sat there in the backseat, my mind in random mode:
We shouldn't be going to work. They wouldn't count this against us. I don't wanna go to work. No, we shouldn't be going. Maybe they'll close for the day, and we could go home. I wanna go home. My Texas home. Yeah, I wanna go there. Texas... Where's the president? I hope he's OK. Geez, wasn't it just like yesterday that Aaliyah died? I remember I was so sad... weird. I'm gonna be so sad later. I know I am.
We got to work, the Verizon Call Center in Santa Monica. It's a tall building, and we all looked up at it before we entered.
All the tvs were on inside, and we hardly got any calls, and one of the managers, Armando, came up to us and said "I want you to know I Know it sucks that we have to be here."
There was a lot of contact. We all sort of bumped into each other all the time. We'd touch the arm of the person we were talking to, pat each other on the back. We all called our families on our breaks, then huddled together in front of the tvs.
After work, when Hilda drove us home, we were all quiet, and we stared at the downtown buildings when we passed them. Near home, I saw a helicopter in the air, pointed it out, and Hilda said really loud "they're not supposed to be flying!" and we stared at it the rest of the way home, 'til we couldn't see it anymore.
I called Daniel when I got home, and we were tense, and picked a pointless fight. I went into the living room and watched the news with Nino and Nina, and I cried for the first time, cuz I saw the people jump off the burning buildings, and it finally hit me. It really hit me.
The rest of the week was pointless, really really pointless. That weekend my cousin Connie and I went to Uptown Whittier to walk around, just so we could be around people. Everyone made eye contact. It was important, so important to make eye contact with everyone. We stood on a street corner to cross the street, and the car stopped in front of us was one of those lowrider deals, but it had one of those little flags on the front. We stared at the flag, then looked at the driver. He was a little cholo dude, and he made eyecontact with us, too.
"Hey, God Bless America, girls. Right?" he said.
"Yeah man. God Bless America." Connie and I said.