The day started out calm, I woke up, took a shower, and went to school early to finish the homework that I hadn't finished the night before. Little did I know that the next few hours would change my life forever.
There I was sitting in my second period English class bored out of my mind, when the Principal made an announcement for the teachers to read their E-mails. My teacher then turned on the TV and at an instant caught all of our attention. Right as she turned it on they were showing a replay of the first plane going into the first tower. As planes, buildings and so many thousands of lives were transformed into ghostly rubble, it was impossible not to feel the bone-deep chill of old comforts, old priorities and old confidences being wiped away. Even the familiar white noise of American life, the omnipresent hum of commerce was hushed into a stunned silence. In the quiet that descended on that Tuesday, music, too, lost its voice. A handful of Alternative radio stations here suspended regular programming and opened the phone lines to listeners. Concerts were cancelled throughout the city and almost everywhere else.
It's not really a trifle, of course, not in ordinary times, when hope at least musters the strength to counterbalance fear. Hope, after all, is the coin of realm in popular music, the implicit backbone that props up sad songs and happy ones, declarations of love and howls of anger. But when hope is hard to come by, when simple security suddenly takes center stage in your hierarchy of needs, many of alternative's bedrock sentiments and promises rings false or, worse still, silly. .
For many Americans, September 11th has afforded a brief snapshot of another world, a very real world where constant terror, ongoing devastation, and crushing, unrelieved poverty amount to a life in which the volume is forever turned down, in which entertainment is forever tempered by despair. Glimpsing at other worlds should not make us feel frivolous.