On 10 September 2001, I went to bed with a stuffy head, and took a decongestant. So on the 11th I awoke late, groggy. My wife had already left for work. Our dog kept me company while I shaved and showered, dressed and caffeinated. I was aiming to leave for the office by a quarter to nine.

I was one minute late.

So it was 8.46am when I bent to say goodbye to Charlie Brown, and off to the side some fast movement caught my eye, with a whirr-whoosh that sounded like a cartoon version of an incoming missile, some disaster about to befall Wile E Coyote. I spun my head to the window where the noise had shot by, but I saw nothing. I stood up. I turned to the south. That’s when I saw.

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