Monday, September 11, 2006

alright, since everybody else is doing it

The "where were you when?" question:

I was in bed, my roommate woke me up. "Anne, I think you need to watch this." It was Tuesday, I remember this because I didn't have class in the morning and could sleep in. I was confused, wondering why my roommate was: a) talking to me, and b) had the TV on, neither of which were typical behaviours. I was an 18 year-old freshman in college. I saw the second plane hit, and then there was a massive wall of dirt and dust, and the Pentagon was on fire.
And then I got up, and took a shower, and while I was rinsing my hair I remember thinking that we were probably going to be bombing some obscure corner of the map before the week was out. I went to breakfast, it was a gorgeous day, I'll never forget how surreal it felt, such a beautiful blue sky, not a cloud in it. Birds were singing. I went to class. The professor looked at us. "Do you guys want to talk about it?" We just sat there. What was there to talk about, besides the usual "why?" 98% per cent of us had never seen New York City. We were rural farm kids, or midwestern suburbanites. New York City had never existed for us as anything but a place in the movies. The World Trade Center didn't mean or symbolize anything, it was just another skyscraper in another indistinguishable eastern city. I remember hearing the students in the ROTC jogging early in the morning, wondering how many of them would get sent overseas, how many would come back.

And that's about it. Now I have to get back to looking for a job.


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