A Song That Reminds Me of a Certain Event | The Ones I Waited On

08 Jul | 30 days of music / art / music / personal / writing | 3 comments

I woke up that day the same, sort of, as many other days, with my mom rousing me to wake up and get dressed. I’d just started college a few weeks before, still living with my parents, still getting into the rhythm, and still amazed by how early a 9:30 am class could seem even though I had been used to getting up for school that started at 7:50 for many years.

There was something different that day, though, a note of panic and surprise. “Someone crashed a plane into the World Trade Center!”

In my barely conscious state, I thought distinctly “no they didn’t”. I did not understand how or why or who or anything else, any better than anyone else did before that day. I didn’t understand how quickly the world can change completely while remaining exactly the same.

I got up just in time for her to tell me that another plane had hit the second tower. She said she’d thought they were coming in to drop water on the first conflagration; instead, she saw live the moment when people started to understand. I figured it out then.

On the way to school, I put Clarity in my CD player and pressed play, the opening hum and beat and chime and strum and pretty words all fading into just the right lines: “It happens too fast to make sense of it, make it last.”

That’s exactly what I was trying to do when I got to my class building. The lobby was jammed with people, necks craned up to see the small television hanging in the corner.

We all watched the first tower fall, then the second. The world changed before our very eyes, too fast to make sense of it.


  1. beah

    god, i love this song. this whole album.

  2. Adi

    It was my first time away from home–like you, I’d just started college, but mine was hundreds of miles from home. The phone lines were jammed, my uncle in the city was unreachable, and my sister’s house was within view of “the sixth most likely target for a terrorist attack” when the first two had already been hit.

    It was a bad day, and I couldn’t bear to turn to music. It’s the one time I remember when I couldn’t.