It was a beautiful day – a day without a cloud in the sky – perfect weather and a slight breeze. One of those days that is so nice – but should’ve been very forgettable.
On my way to my favorite class, a film study class, I overheard on a truck’s radio about a helicopter crash at or around the Pentagon – I didn’t really think much of it – other than maybe it was a small bump that the news was calling a “crash” or if it was something else.
When I finally got to class I picked up a copy of The Northern Star – which was an amazing school newspaper that was really well presented and well written. One of the lead stories was that Michael Jordan was making a comeback – so when I entered the auditorium (the same that a few years later was the scene of a Valentines day mass shooting) – I figured the buzz that was apparent in the room was in regards to Michael Jordan.
The teacher came into the auditorium a few minutes late and said that there was something we needed to see. He turned on our big screen projector – the same screen that we’ve been watching Kubrick, Coppola and Orson Welles films – some of the finest works of fiction ever put to film – and we watched as Tom Brokaw speak to us over images of a couple big buildings smoking.
He said that America had been attacked – and no group has claimed responsibility – and replays of planes crashing into these buildings replayed in front of our eyes. I was in shock – not really understanding what was going on – that’s when one of the buildings collapsed. It didn’t seem real.
Our teacher said that America was going to move forward – and not let these terrorists disrupt our lives – and after a few minutes turned off the screen and began his lecture. I tried my best to listen – but I knew that my father was always traveling to the east coast – and things were so confusing and it was reported that there were more planes missing. Once class ended I ran home and called home – to find out my dad wasn’t traveling that week – and my mom said I could come home if I wanted - and I did want to – but I didn’t.
I called my best friend who signed up to the Marines not but a year before – and his base was locked down with him inside – and his wife and I spoke for a little while and it calmed me.
The rest of the day I was pretty numb – even though classes went on like normal. I settled down at home – without cable (a luxury that my roommate and I decided to do without) – and I listened to the radio - listened to music that reflected how I felt being in that moment and reflected on life.