kestrel, walking
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2020-07-19 07:44:23 (UTC)

Prompt 086: A Nation's Pivotal Moment

86. When President John F. Kennedy was shot and killed in 1963, it was a moment many people at the time would remember for their whole lives. What would a parallel moment be from your life and why? Where were you when it happened and how did you react?

So I wonder if this prompt book was written before 11th September 2001. Because that's the obvious answer here.

At the time, I was working for a software company. People are actually paid to play video games, did you know that? I was working for a studio on games that were yet-to-be released, and my supervisor calls out, over the cubicle wall: "A plane just crashed into the World Trade Center in New York."

That seemed like a terrible tragedy at the time, but it was relatively normal. At least, the mood around the office wasn't abnormal for hearing about a horrifying accident that occurred a few hundred miles away.

When my supervisor mentioned that a second tower was hit, that's the instant I thought to myself, "Who planned this?" That's also when people started calling their families, their colleagues, their coworkers to see if anyone knew what was happening. One fellow staff announced that her calls weren't getting through to someone in New York City. I wondered if our company's CEO was killed in the crashes.

I kind of just rolled out of the office that day, before lunch time, and didn't stick around. I caught up with friends and offered to drive all of us to a local blood donor center. The Red Cross was mobbed, and then we were eventually turned away from a hospital because they didn't have enough supplies on hand to address the sudden influx of donors.

Then I think I eventually went home, ate a pizza or something while watching a news channel for an hour or more at a time, and went to bed wondered what life would be like from that point on.

I was libertarian-leaning at the time, with strong anarchist and anti-government urges. I was immediately convinced in my own mind that the government would use this moment to find ways to control us all, to manufacture consent, and to erase "our freedoms." The lady I was dating at the time was surprised at my comments and my outlook. I remember mentioning to her on the phone on the 12th: "Wait and see what's different one year from now, wait and see..."

I wonder where she is now. I suspect she's being an accountant somewhere near Washington, DC.

Back to present time: being dumped was confirmed via text this morning. I wrote back, mentioning, "for what it's worth, I don't disagree with you on any of that. Thanks for all the summer fun. Good luck to you, _____!" I harbor her no ill will, I confess. It's better off we're apart, and I suspect it's better off that we forget completely about one another.

I ditched the Match account. The urge to date someone just isn't there. Personally, it seems like I'd rather drink coffee, eat pastries, and go on long drives in silence these days. There's a week of vacation I carved out in late August, and I haven't the foggiest idea of what I will do with that, but I imagine I will be in a car, going somewhere quiet and by water. Going to be completely by myself, and I think that's what I want the most.