On September 11, 2001, after watching the smoke balloons spiral out of the Pentagon, I waited for five frozen hours to hear from my then-boyfriend. I waited with my coworkers as we sipped warm chardonnay and watched CNN at Rhodeside Grill in Arlington, Virginia. I waited in a beige bathroom stall, wondering if linoleum protected against bombs. I waited in front of my computer, numbly refreshing whatever news site still seemed to be working
He finally called from a payphone. (Remember payphones?) My now-husband was walking home along I-395 beside hordes of other bewildered commuters, having arrived at the Pentagon Metro station stop seconds after the building was hit.