Last night I went to a party, and the drunkenness led naturally to 9/11 (2001) stories.
Here's mine, the best I remember it...
I was woken up by a phone call at 2pm, that's 5pm New York time, I was living in Irvine, CA.
Me: Hello?It was my roommate, Jen...
Jen: Don't bother coming up, they've closed fair. Not like you were going to.
(Jen made quesadillas at the state fair and was always very proud to claim she came from "carnie stock." She only kinda did, her dad rented out booths, and ran a few of them, but he was really a lawyer - ex-lawyer? - who preferred the fair. I met her family many times, they were all very well-read and civilized. Saying that she had a carnie bloodline was more of a true joke than anything.)
Me: They closed it? Why?I turned it on, just an aerial view of smoke and a pile of rubble.
Jen: They think it might not be safe.
Me: Why not? Did some kid finally die on a roller coaster?
Jen: No, I know. Every place that attracts large numbers of people is being closed down. I don't really get why they're worried about the fair. Who would bother to attack the fair?
Me: What are you talking about?
Jen: Oh my god, did you just wake up?
Me: Yeah. It's two.
Jen: Oh man. Turn on the TV.
Me: What channel?
Jen: Any channel.
Me: Ok, what am I looking at?(The World Trade Center sounds like one building, not two, doesn't it? It did to me.)
Jen: The World Trade Center.
Me: What, did Osama Bin Laden finally get that thing?
Jen: Planes flew into them, nobody knows what happened. Who is Osama Bin Laden?(I couldn't figure out how I knew that at that moment, but since then I've remembered I had watched a really creepy 20/20 thing or something with his video when I was in high school.)
Me: I don't know, actually. I think its some dude who tried to bomb that building a few years ago.
Jen: Well. It was planes. They're not even sure it wasn't an accident.
Me: Either way, I bet he's fuckin' stoked.
Jen: Myka, this is a big deal.
Me: Really? Was it a big building or something? ...
I assumed that shit got bombed and blown up all the time. I knew I didn't know what the World Trade Center was, or even where it was, so I figured that things getting blown up all the time was part of the reality of this planet that went on without my knowledge.
I spent the rest of the afternoon glued to the TV, noticing how the rubble was a slightly different hue of gray on different channels, feeling sad for the people that died, and realizing that the WTC was the same thing as the twin towers, which were the same things as the buildings I remember seeing as a child in the skyline of "Muppets Take Manhattan."
*Do not terrorize