Where Was I When It Happened?

Asleep, on my mother’s couch.

I had just started a new semester of College, and I was falling into old habits quickly. I switched majors at the end of my first year. No longer an “Engineering Major” I didn’t have to worry about 8:00 am Calculus or 9:00 am Physics anymore. Now I had regular classes, like English 102 and History 101. Those regular classes didn’t help me get out of bed though.

The previous year I was living in the dorms on campus. Having not fared well through Physics and Chemistry I lost my scholarship and they put me on Academic Probation. Because of this I couldn’t afford to live in the dorms anymore, so I moved back home. The thing is, almost immediately after I originally left for college my mom and her husband transformed my bedroom into something else, I don’t remember what though. What I do remember is having to sleep on the couch, which didn’t really bother me any.

How the days played out back then were pretty regular. They would get up early and go to work. I would stay on the couch and sleep. I didn’t have to be to class as early as they did to work so no one was the wiser. I slept in during those morning classes regularly. I had noon classes in various forms of Auto Cad that I enjoyed going to, so I always made sure not to miss them.

My Step-Father had owned a trucking/hauling business at the time. Because of this drivers would be in and out of the house at all hours of the day. That particular morning one of them woke me up when he came in to drop off receipts, and use the restroom. I sat up pretty quickly, worried that he may tell on me for not being in school, although he didn’t know. He hadn’t talked to me much, no need to, but he did that morning. He asked “So, whaddya think of all that crazy stuff on the news?” I had no clue what he was talking about, and told him so. I told me to turn on the television and have a look. I don’t remember much, like maybe the second plane hadn’t gone through yet. I hurried and got ready for class.

On my way to school I noticed that all the gas stations were changing the prices out front. It was starting to look a bit ridiculous. Five, six, seven and eight dollars for a gallon of gas. At the time it couldn’t have been more than two dollars a gallon. The year before I had paid closer to a dollar a gallon, and the year before that I paid under a dollar a gallon pretty regularly. I didn’t worry about that because I didn’t need any, so I just kept on my way to school.

When I got there the entire class had huddled around the television, including the teacher. My next class was with the same teacher, but he told us to go home. I went into work early instead. It was pretty much the same thing there. Everyone glued themselves to the internet on their computers, all trying to make sense of what had happened that morning.

Twelve years later I’m unemployed and sleeping on a couch again. This morning I awoke because of the meowing of a cat instead of the footsteps of a burly truck driver though.

Where were you when you found out?

911 memorial
911 memorial (Photo credit: Niels Mickers)

I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonders of old. ~ Psalms 77: 11

10 thoughts on “Where Was I When It Happened?

  1. I had the day off from work and had just finished feeding my young children. I was about to have my own breakfast, but when I flipped on CNN as I always do in the morning, my first image was of a plane going through one of the towers. I couldn’t believe it. I kept staring at the screen thinking ‘that’s not possible.’ It’s as clear in my mind now as it was back then.

  2. I was in class (just a little dig; it was an English class too). My phone rang, and I got in trouble, so I turned it off. Once class was over, I listened to the voice message and then sped to my parent’s house, which was closer to campus than my apartment. In everything else I did that day, it was all focused on the TV while completing the mundane tasks of everyday life.

  3. I was a sophmore in high school and classes had not started yet for the day. We always stood outside of coach Ordways classroom and even before they made an early announcment for us to go to class he sent us all on our ways. When i got into his 1st hour American History class he told us all to just sit back and take in the news. after about 15 minutes of watching it he then asked us what we felt….. it was a crazy feeling

  4. Great post. Gotta go see that memorial.

    It happened late night our time. My family stayed up all night watching the news. I was getting married in a couple of weeks and had moved out. I woke up to it on my clock radio. At first I thought it was a joke. I couldn’t believe it.
    On the train to work everyone was silent. It was one of the only days in my life I bought a paper. I couldn’t believe those lovely towers I had climbed so many times were gone. And like that.
    When I got home my fiance, who was over for dinner, was sitting on our new lounges that had been delivered that day. She was sitting in the dark watching the news.
    It’s so weird to have a moment, a day, when you know everything has changed.

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