I remember.

I remember waking up, feeling disoriented and crabby. Renée and I had only been back in Winnipeg for a few months, and I had not gotten used to life back in my home town. Work, also, was not turning out as I had hoped. I felt stifled, trapped, frustrated.

My employer's office was located in an industrial park in the middle of nowhere. Transit service was, in a word, lacking. Luckily my manager (who wasn't a bad guy) lived close to me and usually gave me a ride.

When I got into the car, he had a coffee for me, as he always did. Did you hear what happened?

No, what?

A plane crashed into the World Trade Centre!

At the time I remember the initial news sounding distant, unreal, not serious. Do you know what kind of plane it was? I assumed it was a Cessna or some other small passenger plane.

He wasn't sure, so we drove off to pick up another guy we worked with. On the radio, the announcer sounded confused; flailing around the truth. I heard him say something about two planes hitting the World Trade Centre. Did he just say that two planes hit the World Trade Centre?

I'm not sure, my manager replied. We listened closer. I started to feel a creeping sense of dread, like that feeling you used to get when you had done something really, really bad, and you knew it was inevitable that your parents would find out.

We picked up our other carpooler and sat outside the front of his dilapitated apartment listening to the radio. By this point it was very obvious that something horrific had happened in New York that morning, but what the radio announcer was reporting sounded unbelievable.

Or, more likely, I just didn't want to believe.

At work I tried repeatedly to bring up a news Web site. Everything was slow, like the Internet was being filtered through syrup. Nothing was coming up, but I was finally getting a clearer picture of what had happened.

Somehow, I managed to bring up video footage of the second plane ramming into the World Trade Centre. A bunch of my co-workers gathered around my desk. Play it again.

The guy we came into work with started laughing. Man, those people are so screwed! I wanted to turn around and smash him in the face, push him down; anything to shut him up. I couldn't stand being there. One of the salesmen started telling a really stupid joke. I had to get out of there.

I called a cab, rushed home, and turned on the television. I tried calling some people I knew in Manhattan, trying to find out if anyone was okay. The circuits were busy. The footage on the televsion was worse than I had expected. I felt empty, scared, and incredibly sad.

One of the networks showed footage of people jumping from the buildings. I sat with my head in my hands.

I stuck in front of the television for the rest of the day, interrupted with seessions going online to try and get a handle on what had happened. I remember being amazed at the level of conversation that was buzzing online. I remember feeling a small sense of relief with the presence, no matter how virtual, of people.

At the end of the day, exhausted and feeling powerless, I just sat there with tears in my eyes, thinking over and over everything has changed.

And everything has. I remember standing on the observation deck of the towers years ago thinking, what a symbol of hubris. I don't take that back; the towers themselves were not beautiful things. But the people were. So much lost potential. So much lost love.

It's never too far away. It's just under the surface, and with it is my disbelief that it has already been a year. The ache I felt a year ago is still there.

This may sound strange, but I don't ever want that ache to disappear. I want to remember.