Much like the generation a few years before me who can recall exactly where and what they were doing the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated, I remember exactly where and what I was doing when I experienced the details of 9/11.
I woke up excited about starting a new job that very day. I was also anticipating my morning routine which was to be another first, enjoying my newly self-renovated bathroom spa completed just the day before. It was a tiny house that had a series of jumbled closets and rooms adjoining the bathroom that I knocked out and reclaimed for the bathroom. An entire corner of this room was devoted to floor to ceiling dressing mirrors with an infinity effect, a jet tub with a steam shower. I found that my new morning routine had increased by an hour.
When I emerged from the tranquility chamber I was greeted with anxious and nervous energy. My supercharged alarmist roommate was hyperventilating in the next room on the phone, computer, and to himself and me, “Get in here…get in here now”, he screamed. I went to the next room to find out what or who was bothering him now. “A plane…A plane flew into the World Trade Center in New York”, he said rather panicky. I immediately recalled one of those weird event documentaries on the Discovery or Learning channels about a bi-wing plane colliding with the Empire State building in the 1930’s and said, “Is that all, that sort of thing has happened before. Stupid pilot what was he doing flying so close to the World Trade Center anyway”. The roommate was now curled up in a ball watching the coverage on the television while he sputtered, “No! This is completely different. A jet plane flew right into it and the whole building is now on fire and people are scrambling around. It’s a mess”.
I looked at the T.V. and saw what was going on and thought, oh those poor people and boy was this going to be bad and how the media coverage is going to be relentless for the next few weeks. Then I recalled similar events when the space shuttle disaster occurred. I was again getting out of the shower heading to a college history class. I said to myself, screw the history class I’m watching history being made right this minute. A point I argued and won with the professor when he tried to dock me for the absence.
I wasn’t able to rationalize the same argument when it came to missing my first day at a new job. I gathered my things and dashed off to work. When I arrived the whole place was deserted. I found a few of the early bird workers in the lounge huddled around a small T.V. watching the first tower as it imploded. When the boss arrived he announced, “Hey everybody this is the new guy”. To which a few people turned around and nodded hello. Then the boss made another announcement, “I don’t think we’re going to do much business today so I think we should close up shop and head home”.
To this day when I finish my morning routine I turn on the news channels to see if there is a reason to continue getting dressed. In some instances there has been an even more sense of urgency to get going like the day hurricane Ivan suddenly swept back over central Florida into the Gulf of Mexico and had reformulated into a category 4 storm headed straight to my front door in less than 24 hours. The race was on to get to the grocery store, the tobacconist, and the Home Depots! As much as I despise the current state of news media organizations I have to admit they have been on occasion responsible for lighting a fire under my butt and kicking into gear my survivalist mode.
So, Where were you and what were you doing when you learned of the events that fateful day of 9/11?