A newly minted freshman in college on September 11, 2001; our guest writer remembers the day from his perspective as a young man on the cusp of the “best years of life”.
By Will Knous, Managing Editor of BSCENE Magazine
People say that college is for discovering yourself, for finding out what you like, who you like. Worry about why you like those things later on; during college you’re just supposed to develop. The world is the way it is, then you travel off somewhere and waste inordinate amounts of your parents’ money, and prepare yourself to enter the world intellectually, socially and otherwise. I went off to school, at 18, with this paradigm planted firmly in mind.
It was during my freshman year at Texas A&M that a few highly motivated and terribly misguided men flew planes into World Trade Center Towers One and Two. It was a Tuesday morning, and everyone remembers that. I’d tumbled out of my loft too late for breakfast and trudged to my early class and back to my dorm, unremarkably.
I was in bed, watching “The Wonder Years” when Mike, the guy across the hall, literally kicked in my door, shouting. “Can you even believe this?” he yelled in my general direction. He had his cell phone in one hand, his room phone in the other, and I don’t think he was looking for much of an answer from me. “Turn on the news,” he shouted. “I can’t believe this!” Then he was gone as abruptly as he’d come.
I switched the channel over to CNN to the live feed of a smoking building. Before I could catch up to what I was seeing or what the voiceover was telling me, the Towers absorbed an airplane. It simply disappeared into the side of the skyscraper. Fire and smoke and glass and steel blew out the windows on the other side. What the hell is happening?
That day I watched a lot more television. I saw people jump out of hundredth floor windows, having made their choice to fall rather than burn up. Clean cut men in uniforms and women in bright sweaters speculated with a perfect ‘cable-news-tragedy’ balance of perkiness and somber tone. But that Tuesday no one really knew what was going on, or what was coming next year/month/day/hour. I didn’t have the faintest idea. I was certain, though, the world I was going to come back into was damn sure not the one I’d left.