I was up early, as usual, computer on, checking my email and trying to get a handle on the day. The radio played softly in the background, more for company than entertainment.
The DJ cued up a Carlos Santana song, the one that goes, “All you killers, leave your lights on.” It was a song I sort of liked, amidst the bland modern rock that he generally played. I listened to the station because, of all the morning “personalities,” these seemed like genuinely nice people. They didn’t scream at each other or laugh too loud at cruel jokes. Occassionally they even played a song I liked.
The newsman came on, speaking in an unusally halting voice. I’d been listening to him every morning for nearly 10 years. I’d never heard him stammer before. It caught my attention.
“Normally, I would wait to report this. There isn’t a lot of information yet. Apparently, this is true…a plane just flew into one of the World Trade Center towers. It might be an accident. There’s a fire in the tower. We’ll keep you posted.”
I thought of the kid who’d flown his single-engine plane into a skyscraper to commit suicide. I wasn’t expecting it when the newsman came back on to say, “The plane had been apparently hijacked. They’re talking about a terrorist attack…”
I wasn’t listening any more. I bustled over to the television and turned it on, expecting that someone had gotten news footage. Seeing the calamity would make it real to me.
As soon as I settled down on the sofa, the second plane crashed into the other tower. Tears came to my ears as I thought about the people on the upper floors, above the smoke.
My husband was on tour with his band in Minnesota. I wasn’t sure how many days they had until they were supposed to play Manhattan. I wanted to call him, but it wasn’t much past 8 a.m., Minnesota time. The band -- and their hosts -- wouldn’t be out of bed yet. I couldn’t wake them to give them bad news, even if hearing my husband’s voice would have reassured me that the world hadn’t gone mad while I slept.
I watched TV until the repetitions of the same footage nauseated me. Then I returned to the radio, where the friendly morning crew was being especially gentle with each other and their listeners.
Causes Loren Rhoads Supports