I turned eighteen a few months previous of September 11th. It was my Freshmen year of college; my first time away from home; my first taste of real freedom. No more curfew. No more nag, nag, nag about getting homework done. I could play my music as loud as I wanted. I could stay up until the crack of dawn if I so pleased. I could do all the things that I couldn’t do at home.

That morning I drug myself, zombie-eyed, out of bed. I trudged into the living room where my roommate was paralyzed in front of the television. I thought she was watching an action thriller, but it only took a moment to realize that this was not any movie.

Drowsiness melted as gooseflesh mounted my arms. My stomach curled, and I slumped down beside my roommate.

“A plane…” was all she mustered.

We watched in horror, as only moments later, the second plane crashed.

My hand caught my mouth, and I turned my face away.

The rest of the day was chaos. Classes were canceled. The television and radio updated every few minutes with this strange horror. Peoples’ faces were distorted with confusion, anger, pain, and sorrow.

I didn’t know what to think.

That night I sat alone on the front steps. It was a clear night. I could see all the constellations, but did not know how to point any out. New York’s sky would not be clear. It would be foggy and black and still rummaging through bedlam.

I rubbed at my chin and bowed my head as tears stung my eyes.

It was my Freshman year of college; my first time away from home– and I suddenly realized…

I had no clue what freedom was.

Pressing Play

It has been fifty-eight days since I have written. Anything. I sit at a computer or a blank piece of paper and freeze, though the past weeks re-play in my head like an old techno-color movie—just not as amusing. 

 Now I feel all rusty-hinged and out of place. No matter how wacky my senses are, or how the words fumble and crack, it is time to rejoin the human race in this thing called life. I am not sure how many more visits to the hospital await me or if I will ever break the barrier of self-doubt; I just know that I am not going to sit around and find out.  

There is too much to love and little enough time to embrace it, so it is best to do what one is able. I hate to think that I have spent my life, no matter the circumstances, drowning in a sea of flimsy hopes and self-commiseration. I want sunshine, even on a cloudy day.