Today was a little rough, despite feeling better that I'd quit. I am bored again, and I hate being bored. My cat keeps attacking me. There's nothing to do or clean or organize. I went to lunch with my sister and spent some time haunting the museum where I used to work. And now I'm eating cookies.
I read a post that my sister-in-law wrote about her September 11th story. It was interesting to read her perspective as an east-coast transplant to Texas. It got me thinking about things though. And since I've been wanting to write down an "in retrospect" post for a while, I figured I'd do it today. One thing I want to say, though, is that as you read this, I know you'll be thinking about your own story. That story is just as interesting to me. I want to hear it. Because everyone's experience, unless you were literally under a rock, is important, and adds to the fabric of emotion that was that day (too prosaic?). Anyway, the point is, think about it, because at the end I want you to share yours with me. Do it in the comments, post on your own blog, email it to me, I don't care. I want to hear it. And here we go:
|Tell your kids to keep a journal, seriously.|
In every class I went to, the TVs were on. We did nothing in any of our classes. The teachers just sat and watched the news, as mesmerized as we were. We watched the towers fall over and over. At lunch my friends and I speculated.
"It's a terrorist attack. And we're next."
"Why would we be next? You're crazy. What are they going to do, bomb the avocado groves?"
"No, stupid, Fallbrook is practically on Camp Pendleton, and that's like the biggest marine base on the west coast." [side note: is it?]
And on and on.
In band, one of my friends (actually just an acquaintance at this point, but I still remember it vividly, and she later became one of my very best friends) was pulled out to go home. She had family in New Jersey that worked in New York and hadn't heard either way about their safety. In my next class, another girl got pulled out, told something, and burst into sobs right there in front of the classroom windows.
Finally school ended and we went home. We were allowed to watch TV for the rest of the day. I remember the CNN newscaster looked scared. He was disheveled and had the hiccups. There was a stack of papers and a bottle of Tums next to him. They showed recap footage all night, including people jumping out of the buildings. Those particular images scared me the most.
I don't think I had ever felt more grown up as a 12-year-old than I did that day. I wrote in my journal how tragic and awful it all was, but I may not have entirely understood everything that it meant. It meant that people would lose members of their family in our town for a while as hordes of troops were shipped to Afghanistan, Kuwait, Iraq, everywhere; for years to come. Test bombings would shake our windows far more often than they had before. No one would be allowed on base without military ID. Travel by plane would become far more difficult. The news would be on far more often in our house, in peoples' cars, and I would start to pay attention. For me, September 11th was a realization that there was a huge, enormous, and scary world beyond the hills of Fallbrook, and it was brought right there to me, and I had to learn to deal with it.