I Went In

In that time of shattered loops and scrambled normalcy, the morning routine took on a strange, surreal quality. The bleary-eyed stumble into the kitchen to pour a cup of coffee, the absentminded flick of the remote to tune into the morning news, it all seemed to take place underwater. The light from the TV cast eerie, dancing shadows around the room, its cheerful chatter muted and replaced with a tone of hushed disbelief.

The newscasters, usually so polished, looked as dazed as I felt. Their eyes were wide with shock as they reported the fall of the Twin Towers, the Pentagon hit, and another plane down in Pennsylvania. The coffee in my hand turned cold, forgotten as I stared at the screen, trying to make sense of the incomprehensible.

My partner had already left for work, leaving the apartment eerily quiet save for the relentless drone of the news. Without thinking, I picked up my bag and keys and headed out the door, propelled by a force I couldn’t name. It wasn’t courage, it was inertia, the familiarity of routine in the face of the unknown.

Olympic Boulevard was nearly deserted. Usually choked with traffic, today it was a ghost town. The radio played the same news on a loop, each station echoing the same words, the same disbelief. The city was holding its breath, waiting for the next blow to fall.

I drove to the office, its towering glass facade seeming so vulnerable in the harsh light of the morning. I was one of a handful of worker bees who had shown up, each of us moving through our tasks with robotic precision, our minds elsewhere.

Our buzzing was quieter that day, our movements slow and hesitant. We were like clockwork toys winding down, the mechanisms of routine and normality grinding to a halt. The office, usually so full of life, was a skeletal shell of its former self. It was a monument to the old world, a world that had crumbled in a cloud of smoke and dust half a country away.

In the silence of that day, as the city around us froze in anticipation, we clung to our tasks, our routines. We were worker bees, lost without our hive, waiting for the next instruction. But in the wake of that day, there was no queen to guide us, no instructions to follow. The loops were shattered, the familiar patterns of life disrupted. We were set adrift in a sea of uncertainty, with only the echoes of the old world to guide us.

That day, I went in. I went in because there was nothing else I could do. I went in because the loops were broken and the world had shifted on its axis, and all I could do was cling to the remnants of the old world, the familiar patterns that once gave life meaning. I went in because the world outside was too large, too overwhelming. And in the face of the incomprehensible, all I could do was retreat to the familiar, to the routine, to the hive.