Do you remember where you were?
I was 22 years old, and I was at a small fitness center in the apartment complex we lived in. It was early, and I was the only one in there. I got on the treadmill, wearing earphones, listening to music, and absent-mindedly looking at a TV that was mounted on the wall as I began to run.
I don’t remember when I started to pay attention. My brain spent a moment or more filtering the image on the screen through the lens of a movie trailer or something. Which made more sense, after all. There was no audio to go with it, and I wasn’t focused on the TV to begin with. But then came the dawning realization that it wasn’t a movie, and the north tower was actually burning in real life. So I turned up the sound.
It was crazy, to say the least, when it was one plane that had plowed into a skyscraper for some reason.
But I recall watching the screen intently as the second plane entered the south tower.
And the distinct and immediate feeling that it wasn’t an accident.
I wasn’t running on the treadmill anymore by then. I shut the thing off and raced home.