I wasn't in New York. I wasn't even old enough to really process it or care. But here is what I remember.
- •I was 13.In the 8th grade. In rural Mississippi. About as far away from New York City as you can get.
- •In between first and second period, I heard one of my teachers say, "It's the beginning of World War III!" followed by a laugh. I didn't know what she was talking about.The rest of second period went on without any mention of the day's events.
- •When I got to third period, the TV was on.By this point, both towers had fallen. I didn't know what the World Trade Center was, but I understood something Big was happening.
- •I remember the other kids laughing.At the people running from the destruction. At the people covered in ash. At the fear in everyone's eyes.
- •I knew it was a tragedy. But it was an abstract tragedy.When you only know the people in your small Southern town, New York City might as well be on the other side of the world. Some people far far away had a terrible day. But tomorrow, it would be better.
- •I stopped by my mother's classroom to talk to her about it.She told me it was very serious. That it would probably lead to a war. I said I would never go to war. I would move to Canada. She told me, "Please don't say things like that."
- •Word spread that they'd closed Disney World. We couldn't believe it.How could something that happened in New York affect Disney World? How serious must this be?
- •I played football after school. An away game. We had a prayer before the game. The first of many - post-9/11, public prayer became the norm.We lost the game. We lost all the games. But this is the only one I remember losing.
- •When I got home, a package was waiting for me.It was both soundtracks to "Romy & Michele's High School Reunion." I was thrilled. I had searched extensively for them online, and I had ordered them from CDNow *weeks* before. I remember thinking, hey, maybe today wasn't so bad!
- •Rudy Giuliani was giving a speech. On every single channel.I yelled down the hall, "This thing is STILL on??" My mom came into my bedroom, and again, she tried to explain how tragic and important this was. I nodded and said I understood.
- •I closed my door, turned off the TV, and I listened to my new "Romy & Michele" CDs.Everybody Wang Chung tonight.