Everyone else had dramatic ways of finding out about the attack. Me? I was laughing because of a misunderstanding.
September 11, 2001 at 7:30 am PST I was still sleeping, dreaming. The dream is forgotten. But the radio entered my dream. Two unknown people were droning on and on in serious voices, unlike the Leigh Ann and Charlie I knew who laughed and joked. I heard “The World Trade Center has collapsed,” and half woke up with a smile on my face, thinking of the sunsphere Nelson knocked over on The Simpsons. Then I woke up a little more, thinking, ‘No, wait … that’s the thing Homer went to for his car. …’
I pulled on shorts, not bothering to change out of my nightshirt, and grabbed my glasses, adjusting them on my face as I walked down the hallway and blinked the sleep out of my eyes. N was at school already, M88 was about to depart in a few minutes. I sat on the sofa next to Daddy, the television screen showing a burning skyscraper.
This part gets fuzzy. I found out what happened, and took everything in with a cotton-ball head. ‘Oh, terrorists. What’s for breakfast? People died! I don’t want to do all my school work; I wish I had done it last night. They weren’t supposed to! Okay, the Twin Towers are no longer. What are they?’ On and on, not thinking, or more like trying not to think.
M88 asked, “Are they going to close the schools?”
“No, I saw kids at the high school when I dropped N off. I think it’s safe for you to go.”
I sat down at the table, shivering, and realized I was wearing practically nothing. After a few words, I went to my room to get dressed. Mommy took M88 to school while I was in my room. Realizing I left the radio on, I turned it off, not wanting more information at the moment. I had Eggo Minis with butter and syrup, grape juice cocktail.
Afterwards I started my schoolwork like any other day last year. While I was working though, Mommy was sitting across from me, and the TV, on CNN, kept going in the background.
I asked, “Are they going to rebuild the World Trade Center or what?”
“Oh, I don’t know! Maybe not. Hiroshima ground zero is an empty lot.”
The pentagon was hit, and I looked at the news with disinterest.
We flipped through the channels, watching different broadcasts, and I realized some channels were a copy of others. Mommy told me, “They pay other stations to show their broadcast. A friend of mine worked in accounting for a station, she had to pay those bills. One time she forgot, and parts of Canada and New York [?] had blank screens for an hour. I don’t know what she was doing there anyway, she was always a flake.”
We got to channel 13, UPN, and I said, “I don’t like that screen. It’s too busy.”
“Yeah, it’s too cluttered.”
All airports were shut down, every police officer and firefighter in L.A. were on alert, ready to help in a moment’s notice.
“There was supposed to be a shift switch, but no one left.”
“Oh.” And I wondered, ‘What about my uncle?’
It being Tuesday, Mommy eventually got up and realized, “It’s 10:30?! I’ve got to go to work!” And go she did. I finished my work and went up to the computer, turning on the tv to KTLA 5. I realized Hal Fishman and Larry McCormick were the anchors. Carloz Amezcua was there too, I think. I went to Arctic Nightfall and posted, still a bystander to myself. After that I went to UPNetwork and finally registered, my first post at the new board being, “‘They can’t shoot down innocent people.’ They can and will. Bush ordered it.”
Around noon Mommy came home and made lunch. I turned on KTLA and we saw Hal and Larry on the same screen shot, at the same desk. I somehow felt as if both would push each other off, that there wasn’t really enough screen room, volume, power, to hold both. But they stayed there. The WTC attack was so great that these two great news anchors both were at the desk, reporting every bit of news.