Fragments Caught and Kept

3:19 PM * watching television after walking 75 blocks home, it feels so distant. i turn from the tv to my computer monitor to not look at it.

i’m scolding myself for being desensitized by an hour of television footage, replaying collapse timelessly. it is not like a movie and i scold myself more than that by saying i saw a plane hit the world trade center today and remembering that i was surprised a second plane came out of the bay and that i had instinctively stepped back from the windows, afraid of a shockwave that would break the windows i was looking through. it only happened once, horribly once. it is not surreal my fellow architects and i knew that without fire suppression systems and help, there was no way the structure was going to survive (structural steel melts after being burned for an hour) and knew exactly how it would fail. you saw several hundred people falling a hundred storeys. each of them fell only once.

Chad the Minx
(Chad Smith)
September 11, 2001

Chad Smith is a New York architect, writer, martial artist, and club team rugby player. This 9/11 entry was published originally published on the website It appears on p. 288 of New York Diaries: 1609 to 2009.