Friday, September 9, 2011


Ten years have gone by since the world as we know it changed.  Ten years.  That amazes me, because in so many ways it feels like 9/11/01 was just yesterday.  But no, ten years have passed.  Ten years of life and ten years change.  Ten years ago, I was a truly immature college sophomore with a crush on a tennis player.  Ten years ago, on a random Monday, I was making plans with this guy to "hang out" at his friend's off-campus house that night, where there'd be some more "privacy" if you know what I mean.  That evening would probably have been forgettable, if it weren't for the next morning.

Driving back to campus with the obnoxious morning radio DJs blaring over an awkward silence, we heard that one plane had mistakenly flown into a building in New York City.  Which just seemed ridiculous.  I skipped up the two flights of stairs to my dorm room and opened the door just in time to see my roommates face fall in horror as a second plane hit.  We held each other, watching in silent terror as the world changed.

By 10:30 that morning, the air was filled with the sounds of helicopters and sirens.  Northern Virginia hospitals were flooded with victims, and needed the help of hospitals further south.  Students lined campus walk holding hands in a silent prayer, many of us wondering about friends and relatives who had not yet checked in from their offices in New York or DC.

Ten years have gone by.  I can usually lighten my memories of 9/11 by remembering how I heard: on the car ride home from a one-night stand.  It seems almost funny, when I think of a day with such an awkward start.  I can dull the emotional horror of everything else, by looking back at myself as a childish nineteen-year-old on a walk of shame.  Where was I on September 11th?  I was a stupid child about to do a whole lot of growing up, all before lunchtime. Where were you?