Everyone, or at least everyone whose brain was developed enough to remember, in America, remembers where they were. I was getting ready for a 9:30am (Central) Spanish class. I had just gotten out of the shower, I walked to the living room, flipped the TV on, then turned back to the bathroom. I took two steps, and in those two steps, I wondered why they were showing footage of Oklahoma City. Then I stopped, and I felt numbness creep into my extremities. That wasn’t Oklahoma City. I pivoted back around, stared at the screen, trying to understand what was happening.
I think a lot of people, most people, were trying to understand what was happening. It was simply…unbelievable. One of those things you can’t seem to wrap your mind around, one of those things that is completely and utterly inconceivable.
I sat down on the sofa. Not sat, sank. No, not sank. Plopped. No, that’s not right, either. I levitated downward onto the sofa. It took me a full thirty seconds to sit, I swear. Eyes on the TV, I had to remind myself to breathe. I watched the smoke billow, listened to Katie and Matt discussing the events I had missed, heard Jim Miklaszewski reporting live by phone from the Pentagon. I remember that numb feeling that expanded from my extremities into the rest of my body. I still get it when I think of that day.
But here’s the thing – I forgot. I forgot that it was today. Maybe because I’m in another country, without the news media talking about it. But more likely because I simply don’t keep track of a calendar anymore. It’s hard enough to distinguish days of the week, let alone dates. Half the time I can’t remember what month it is. So, yes, I forgot.
But now I remember again. I remember that feeling I had that day, and the days after that. I remember the victims, and the perpetrators, and the love and sympathy and hatred and revenge.