Tuesday, September 11, 2007


So, right now, I'm watching NFL network. They're showing this:

It's the U2 halftime show from the Superbowl following 9/11.

It's amazing how clearly I can remember small details from that day.

When the first attack happened, I was supposed to be in my Interpersonal Communications class, but I slept in and missed class that day. When I went to my next class Economics, folks were talking, but I couldn't piece stuff together. The professor tried to quiet everyone down and have a normal class, stating something to the effect of "no need to change until anything is known". I passed it off as nothing and as usual didn't pay attention to his lecture.

When I got to my next class, Physics, was when I finally got to see television broadcast of what was happening, and we started talking about it. Dr. Fisher came in visible shaken and told us that today was no day for class, and that we should all go home and call our family to make sure everyone is ok, and then he left. So, I went to McIntosh Center to get some lunch with Josh Ketelson. We took in some more television, and then had lunch: chicken fried steak and mashed potatoes, which were lumpier than usual.

After that, we headed back to the house. We stood dumbfounded all day, watching the TV, calling friends and family, wondering how to proceed with some sense of normalcy. Brothers we rarely saw at the house, including Dr. Banfe, stopped by, and we all seemed to eat Taco Bell. A couple of brothers went with me to prayer at the chapel, and then most of the brothers went to the chapel service where we watched President Bush address the nation. His resolve and compassion that night still strike me to this day, and that will be the President Bush I remember 20 years from now.

It's almost surreal to me how clear the day is to me still. A little clearer than Columbine, but it does allow me to wrap my mind around my parent's tales of the day JFK was shot.

I wish the day had never happened, but I hope the memories never fade.

Out To Get Me

Have you seen the movie Final Destination?

If so, I'm sorry. I, too, wish I could have those couple of hours back to spend a different way. For the rest of you, I envy you, for not having wasted those hours. There are also two sequels, which I've never bothered to take in, but again, if you have I'm so sorry for your lost time.

To sum up the movie, you basically get on a collision course with Death and you're stuck on that collision course. If you avoid it somehow (like missing a plane that crashes), Death will track you down. I'm fairly certain the sequels are the exact same things, just with Death trying to get you in new and different ways. And, yes, you can feel free to insert a Gilmore Girls' joke here.

Anyways, I'm starting to think there's some truth to the premise of this movie. And that death has relatives who do the same thing.

Take for example, Death's distant cousin Burn. I think Burn is out to get me, and send me to the ER.

Consider the following: Last weekend, we were in Columbus. I was trying to reach the microwave at my mother-in-law's house to reheat some dinner (mmm ... Bob Evan's slow roasted pork dinner). As I do so, I bump my finger against a hot iron. A small scar exists to this day. But, my quick reflexes kept it from being as bad as it could have. Or should have, I suppose, because Burn stayed after me.

Sunday night, I was cooking dinner. I made chicken w/vegetables with brown sauce and steamed rice. As I'm plating dinner, one of the bowls I'm putting things into starts to fall, and I instinctively reach out to catch it, causing hot, freshly steamed rice to fall onto the the corner of the palm of my hand. The same hand that has the burn mark from the iron, a week earlier. Fortunately, I got the rice off quickly, and put some aloe on my palm, and have only a very small mark from this encounter with Burn.

But he wasn't done yet.

Today, I was working down in Marion. I got hungry as I was set to leave town, so I went to Starbucks. I got a tall coffee (just plain coffee. Not a mocha latte caramel sissy drink. Straight black coffee ... coffee the way Jesus drank it) and an old-fashioned donut. As I'm traveling up 23 and throughly enjoying my snack, I'm moving the coffee from my mouth back to the cup holder, when I hit a small bump in the road. A very, very small bump. But, the laws of gravity were defied for a few moments, as a large splash of coffee jumped from my cup, through the spout, and landed on my leg.

No mark today, but still ... I got the reminder that Burn was still after me ... watching, waiting for his next move. I hope he gets bored and moves on soon.