What a weird day. Really. It looks the same as it did 11 years ago. Bright, blue sky, calm fair air. The feeling is different today, though. I’m older. Fatter. Wiser. A father. A husband. Come to think of it, that is about the only difference. I’m still going to see the same band next week, that I was supposed to see 11 years ago (I had to wait until February of 2002, though.)
My alarm went off at 8:02 CDT at 240 South Salisbury, #9 in West Lafayette, IN. I had/have problems waking up, so I set my alarm on the loudest volume to a mexican radio station. Why Mexican? The calls and yells were enough to take you out of your stuper at any time of night/day. The alarm went off and Banky licked my face. Something was different this time. There was panic in the air. Not the jovial sounds of a marachi band. Banky wasn’t panicked, but my heart sank.
I regained consciousness at 8:03 and things got stranger. The frantic voice on the radio screamed and exclaimed that the second tower has been hit. I heard it live. I jumped out of bed and ran to the living room. I turned the TV on. My 20-year-old head went numb. The skyline of New York, that I had seen so many times on Friends and Soprano’s was on fire. The frantic man from the radio, that was speaking english, was right.
I grabbed a Kamel Red Light and took Banky outside. I was confused. No one was outside. I saw the flicker of TVs in everyone’s window. She pee’d. I went inside and put my clothes on. For some reason I went to my first class that day. It was the History of Islam. This was the only class that was not cancelled for the day. The professor held an open forum to discuss what was happening. Later in the semester he gave me a D on a paper and suggested I didn’t know how to write a complete thought. More on that later.
I left that class early and stopped at the Discount Den. People were talking in the corner over their humongous pop. I grabbed a pack of Kamel Red Lights and walked the two blocks home and sat on my futon watching the strangest reality show of all time. I grabbed a 40 ounce from the fridge and began consuming. Consuming everything on TV. Flipping from pundit to pundit. No commercials. Just fire in the sky. Then they fell. Straight down and the dust came. The dust came and covered everybody.
My brain was becoming dusty during the middle of the day as I went to the fridge for another 40 ounce. I started calling everyone on my monochromatic cell phone screen. I talk to my mom, dad, sister, sister, sister, old boss, a friend, another friend, another friend. I told them I love them. Banky and I felt lonely watching a mass murder on live television.
I slept hard on the futon. I woke up the next day. My head was still buzzing. Not only from the beer, but from the events that had occurred. There were still no commercials. As the sun rose, the metal skeleton was finally revealed from the collapse the day before. Now it could be seen in broad daylight. As pundits talked over the still image, they began to replay the images of the planes hitting. People jumping. Towers falling. It seemed nothing was going to be normal.
It was that Thursday when I finally went to class. I was outside of Heavilon Hall with my fellow small talkers over a Kamel Red Light. It was early afternoon. I cannot describe the sound to this day, but it was the loudest whoosh that you felt through your flesh and throughout your bones. Everyone, myself included jumped to the ground and laid flat. It was a seen from a movie, but there were hundreds of people laying flat on the ground in absolute terror. I looked up just in time to see a F16 flying 200 feet off of the ground.
That was the feeling for awhile. Terror. We had been terrorized. We had been murdered on our own soil. It took a long time to get over that. Sports helped. That was a great World Series that year. Arizona won, but it was fun, nevertheless. Humor helped a great deal. One of my favorite SNL skits to this day is Will Ferrel wearing short, short american flag shorts. It helped get over the terror.
Today is weird. It is weird at how the weather and the fact that it is Tuesday is so similar to what it was 11 years ago. It is weird how much it does not seem like that long ago. It is awesome that Obama and his guidance led to the demise of the douche bag, coward Osama Bin Laden. We will never forget. Partisanship and other crap has come to a head again, but we will never forget. We were brothers in arms for a long time after those evil men steered the planes into the towers. We will never forget.
Please to enjoy.