Never so far from home as on Sept. 11, 2001
I was glad when I got home. My wife understood exactly what was going through my mind. I couldn't take off the television at home, but I didn't want the children to watch. It was too late, of course. They'd already seen too much because RTE preempted their children's programming with live scenes from New York. Everyone was too shocked to think rationally.
The sense of alienation hardened over the weeks and months that followed. I didn't want to talk to people, even friends. Couldn't avoid them all, unfortunately. Lots of conversations ended with me being really angry.
Now so much time has passed that the sense of alienation has faded, although it hasn't completely gone away. I doubt it ever will. I took New York - America - for granted before September 11. That will never happen again and it's that sense that keeps me apart from most people here.