Where were you Adam Smith?

My memory of 9/11 begins in Mr. Lefsky’s fourth-period macroeconomics class where I sat in the desk closest to the door. I remember staring at the TV that our hushed and protective faculty never turned on for us. Though I’m still not sure whether or not they should have. I remember that and other specific moments of 9/11 as vividly as I can remember today. I can remember the large amount of cars on the road in a slow, steady rush to get home to a spouse, a child, to anyone.

I remember the sickly feeling in the pit of my stomach when I looked north up Highway 35 and could see how the smoke darkened the sky as if a storm were approaching. I remember the day in its strange innocence and undirected anger but mostly in the way that everyone’s eyes were opened a little wider and they felt a little smaller.

I was in a journalism class first period and in the weeks that followed we would spend the first 45 minutes of the day reading the newspaper. We read stories about good people, about bad people, and then the stories about just plain people; people who got up and went to work and died in that simplicity.
There were local stories too. There was the woman who called the bakery in town the Friday after 9/11. She called to cancel an engagement cake order because her husband died in the WTC.

There were the Volvos and Saturns that I remember seeing sitting in the same place in the small train station that I passed by everyday on my way to school. So many people lived in town and took the train to the city every morning. They were left unclaimed for weeks and then one day they were gone, all of them. I don’t know where they went or how it even happened, but I remember how it was one less reminder and one more step forward that needed be taken for the town and for me.

Adam Smith is a graduate student currently working on his master’s in English.