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Untitled – September 9, 2005

September 9, 2005

I have reached one of the markers in your life where you can claim, “One year ago I was…” Well, one year ago I moved to Seattle. At that time in my life, I was awed by the city. The pace people walked and the different culture around me completely amazed me. Soon I would land a job with the Alumni Association at the University of Washington. But those three weeks between Labor Day and the first orientation event at the Evans School were a strange time for me. I had no purpose, no job, and no friends in the city and I had more free time than I ever had in the past four years.

I would go to this coffee shop about two blocks from my apartment and order the cheapest coffee drink they had – they had free wifi internet with purchase. After a couple of times, the barista would see me walk in and start to ring me up. I would hand her $1.35 and she would hand me 16 ounces of brewed organic coffee. I would spend a couple of hours checking my email, paying the bills, writing friends, looking for a job and finalize my schedule for the next school year. A few weeks later, I would get free wireless internet for my neighbor and I have not returned to that coffee shop.

Another marker in my life is four years ago from this Sunday. I will always remember that beautiful Tuesday morning. I woke up at 5:15 a.m. to get ready for work at Big Lots in Richland, Washington. On Tuesdays, we would put out the merchandise for the next day’s advertisement from six until the store opened at nine. I remember putting out merchandise ranging from Winnie the Pooh scooters to toasters. We had all worked together in the store for the past three months and we had become quite fond of each other. During our break, we all laughed when Trish took the cigarette out of my hand and smoked it herself, so that I would not become addicted to those “damned cancer sticks.” We went back inside and Jodi and I began to hang up bras in the clothing section – when the eight o’clock shift came in with the news.

When I arrived at home for lunch around ten, I got there just in time to see the second tower fall.

I picked up Heidi from her house around 9:00 p.m. that night – Jodi, Chris H., Heidi and I had plans to hang out that night in honor of Heidi and me going back to college. And by God, we were not going to let the terrorists win and cancel our plans. Heidi and I barreled along in my 1978 T-Bird to Jodi’s. I remember we were playing kings with Whiskey and beer and we had ABC’s on going coverage of the attacks on in the background.

On Saturday of that week, I would leave for my second year of college. I was a freshman orientation leader and I had to be at school early. It was nice helping freshman move into their dorms and taking them on tours. For one week, I had no access to the internet, television or a newspaper – for one week the world’s problems seemed to disappear.

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