So it's 10pm on September 10th, 2001. I'm talking in my head to a random voice that i converse with sometimes. No one outside my head can hear. I say to the voice "I wonder if I'll die tomorrow."
"Why would you die tomorrow?" asks the voice
"Eh, just some weird psychic moment i had when i was 13 made me believe that something horrible would happen on my 23rd birthday."
I don't need to tell the voice that tomorrow is my birthday. It is one perk to talking to voices in my head. They already know everything like that, as they are essentially me. But sometimes they ask questions.
"What makes you think you can predict the future ten years in advance?" it asks
"Well, i believe good and bad things happen in 3's. I believe in the power of three. And when i was 13, three bad things relating to the number 23 happened."
"What things?" the voice asks.
"Shut up, you already know" i say
"Don't tell me to shut up, bitch" it says...
I twitch and think about taking my night meds now, instead of 3am when i normally go to bed.
"WHAT THINGS?" the voice asks again loudly.
"I was raped by a 23 year old, then i broke up with my boyfriend for the 23rd time, which was the last time because he thought i cheated on him with the 23 year old, because i could not admit i was raped, and he started making my life miserable, not to mention all the other shit i was dealing with, including the recent death of the only adult i ever trusted. So i overdosed on 23 Tylonol, plus alcohol and speed and i almost died and had to have my stomach pumped."
"OH Yeahhhh," recalls the voice "that year sucked"
"indeed" i say back "and after those 3 things, i had like, a vision that something bad would happen on my 23rd birthday"
"i'm sure it won't" says the voice "you're just paranoid or crazy or more likely both"
"no shit" i mumble out loud.
I look at the clock. It is getting later, and i have a therapy appointment at 10am tomorrow. I groan. Why Did I Agree To Go To Therapy On My Birthday? Who knows? But i go to bed so that i can wake up tomorrow.
It is now 8:30am on September 11th, 2001. My mother knocks on my door to wake me up.
"I'm up" i say. I had just awoken.
My mother comes in the door. "Happy Birthday!" she says
"Happy Birthday" i say back. It is not her birthday, but i just say it to be funny.
"Want me to make you some toast or a bagel before you go to therapy?"
"Ok" i say "a bagel would be good thanks"
"Just come down when you are ready"
She leaves my room and i search through my closet for something to wear. I get dressed and brush my very long hair to the best of my ability. It has grown down to my ass and it somehow started to dread underneath, so some of it is just un-brushable, but i do my best and head downstairs.
As i walk into the kitchen, i open my mouth to say something, but the phone rings and my mom answers it. I walk to the toaster and pop up my bagel.
My mother suddenly yells my name twice. "Turn on the TV! Quick, quick!"
I run to the TV. "What channel?" i ask her.
"What channel?" she asks into the phone, then turns to me "Any channel" she says as i press the power button.
There is a view of the twin towers in New York city, although i do not yet know they are called the twin towers, as i know nothing about New York at this point in my life.
"It appears that a plane coming from Logan Airport lost control and crashed into one of the twin towers" I hear and see a news reporter say on the television.
My heart stops short and i look at my mom,
"Oh my GOD! Is that Dad's plane?"
"No" my mother quickly says "this is dad on the phone. They told him they didn't need him in New York today."
My heart starts working again and i exclaim. "Oh my GOD!"
My dad has an office in New York and flies in from Logan Airport, as we live in the Boston area.
"Was that his flight?" i ask.
"He doesn't know" she says.
I turn back to the the TV to see what is going on, and all of a sudden, a SECOND plane hits!
"OH MY GOD MOM! DID YOU SEE THAT?!!"
We just stare. My mom gets off the phone with my father, telling him she is so glad he is okay"
We watch the television together for a few minutes until i remember i have to go to my appointment. I say goodbye, hop in my car, and turn on the AM radio to hear more as i drive to therapy.
It takes about 15 minutes to get there, and my AM radio channels are not receiving great reception, but i do my best to understand what is going on between the radio static and the screaming New Yorkers in the background of the news report, so when i arrive at the clinic, i still don't really know what happened.
I walk into the usually quiet lobby, and everyone is talking amongst each other.
"Did you hear?" "Did you see?"
"What buildings did it hit?" "Was that the empire state building or the world trade center?"
"Was it intentional?" "It had to be" "Who would do that?" "I don't know" "Maybe terrorists"
I listen and share for a minute, but i see a patient exit my therapist's office, and my therapist comes out a moment later and calls my name. She holds open the door and i sit down, eager to find out what she knows of this plane crash incident.
"Hello" she says "Happy Birthday"
i laugh and say "yeah, i really haven't had a chance to think about that yet"
"Why? Did you just get up?"
"No" i say "You didn't hear?"
"Hear what?" she asks
"About the plane crash in New York. A plane hit like, th empire state building or something, and then, like five minutes later ANOTHER plane came and hit the building right next to it!"
"What are you talking about?" she asks.
"This morning!" i say "They were talking about it out there. They say it might be terrorists or something."
"Terrorist hit the empire state building on your birthday???"
"Yeah, i know, it's totally weird, cuz i like, knew something horrible was gonna happen on my 23rd birthday, but i just assumed it would be personal or something. Actually, at first i thought it was, cuz my dad was supposed to be on one of those planes, but he didn't end up having to go to New York today, thank God"
My therapist looks at me, tilts her head to the side and asks "How long has it been since you last took your medication?"
"i took it this morning! Are you listening to me?"
"Did you stop taking it for a few weeks?" she asks "and just start again today?"
"What?" i asked, confused as to her randomness until i realize she thinks this is all one of my delusions. "No! No!" i say "This really happened, i swear!"
"Have you been hearing more voices?" she asks
"Well, i still do sometimes, but this really happened. I know the difference between what i hear inside my head and reality!"
"Maybe we should give Dr. D--- a call" (my psychiatrist who is in the same building)
"Yeah." i say "Maybe you aught to call her and ask her about the plane crash so you know i'm not lying"
"I don't think you're lying" she says "You are just confused right now"
Now my pulse start racing because i am angry that my own therapist does not believe me. She dials my doctor's extension.
"Hi, Dr. D----, this is Ann. I'm here with one of your patients. I don't think they've been taking their medication lately and i was wondering if you could see them briefly after i am finished with the session........No, they say they are taking their meds, but they came in here telling me about some plane hitting the Empire State Building and their dad was supposed to be on the flight...... oh, uh huh? ....uh huh?... Really?...Oh dear, okay, thank you"
She hangs up the phone.
"I'm sorry i didn't believe you" she says
"Uhhh, that's okay" i say, a little annoyed.
"Actually, i'm gonna need to cut this visit short. I have some family in New York i need to call."
Visit ends. I go home and spend the rest of the day in front of TV like everyone else in America, even all over the world.
My parents still took me out to dinner that night at a Mexican place i like. Everyone in the restaurant was talking about the attack, including Nancy Kerrigan, the ice skater who just happened to be sitting a couple tables away from us.
It was an odd day. I stupidly stayed with that therapist for another few years too. We never brought up that session again, but as it turns out, i think she was the crazier of the two of us.
I still don't know what to think about the whole predicting that day to be bad thing... at least i don't feel guilty anymore. Once i realized that George Bush knew to expect it and did nothing, i realized that had i called in an anonymous police report saying i predicted something bad, although i didn't know what, was gonna happen, i would have just been told i was crazy anyway. So yeah... but it was weird
PS. I'm home