6 years ago today, my sister had her tonsils out. They'd been a real problem for years, like two gumballs lodged on either side of her throat, and on that morning she went under the knife to correct the issue. My parents called from the waiting room of the hospital in Florida, early that morning, to let me know that Kate was resting comfortably and would be going into surgery shortly.
6 years ago this morning, I drove to Sav-a-Center for the very first time. I was stressed about a job interview I had that morning. On the way home, as I made a wrong turn onto Claiborne Ave from Napoleon, the DJ on WWOZ interrupted--yes, interrupted--the set to announce that a plan had just flown into the World Trade Center. "I don't normally do news stuff," he said, "but this is something really serious."
6 years ago today, I went on that job interview, terrified, horrified, and visibly shaking, and demonstrated uncharacteristic restraint when the woman conducting the interview--who would later become my boss--looked at me and asked "Is something wrong?" and I said something like, "Um, yeah, those buildings in New York just collapsed and all these people have died and are dying" and she looked at me kinda funny and said "Oh. Yeah. That."
6 years ago tonight, my roommate and I ate dinner at Mona's on Calhoun. We ate silently. The place was deserted.
Back at home I talked to my mother, who told me that my sister's surgery had gone off without a hitch, she was doing well. I clutched the phone and again, invoking that utterly uncharacteristic composure, just barely refrained from begging her to come (back) to New Orleans, to bring me home. The weekend before she had driven with me from Orlando to New Orleans, my old Toyota crammed with a lifetime of crap, across a few state lines to the city I had decided to love as my very own. We caught the remains of Decadence, ate a fine dinner at Venezia's, and when I dropped her off at the airport I remember feeling very strongly that this was it, this was where my childhood ended and my real adult life began. Maybe that sounds silly. But I was 25, and that's not that old these days, and when I saw my mother off at the airport that day I suddenly felt very afraid.
But not as afraid as I felt 6 years ago today.