Originally Posted by guttle11
But more than anything else, I remember the sonic boom late in the afternoon in the south Dayton Area. To this day I can still feel the beat my heart skipped, and I can still sense the few seconds of sheer panic that went through me right after.
Holy crap, yes. And I don't know about "few seconds." I mean, a few seconds of actual panic, but the confusion and nervousness lasted a good half hour, as I recall.
Channel 7 was even cutting into the national CBS feed to talk about it, and briefly perpetuated a story about a bombing at a VA Hospital or something, and then clouded the story further with details of a brush fire that might be a downed aircraft, and for at LEAST 30 minutes nobody freaking knew what was going on.
Turned out -- in the end -- it was just Air Force One's security escort making an unauthorized jump to warp speed over a populated area.... but man alive did that brief period of confusion take a memorable day and make it even more so.
* Having my bedroom door pounded upon at what (at that time in my life) seemed the unreasonable hour of 10:30am. I wanted none of it. Then the phrase "It's war. They attacked us. They got us." made it through to my brain enough to spark me awake. And then spark me to wonder "Wait? Who's they? Who's us?", which led directly to....
* Watching way too much TV for about 3 days straight, surrounded by my housemates and various visitors (hey, we had the big screen TV, and we had the bar in our basement, it was only natural to congregate) who'd only return to their own residences between the hours of midnight and 10am. Otherwise: communal TV viewing and brainstorming.
* Trying to put on a brave face and do some "normal" things right afterwards, but having it all feel very weird. I remember going out to our favorite bar the very Tuesday night (well, Wednesday morning by the time we got there) it happened, and thinking "there's way too many people here for it to be this quiet." Also that night: let's just say I'm not a "hugger" (I subscribe to the Seinfeld theory that outside of a sexual relationship, there are some things that are just stupid and pointless, and awkward public physical interaction with a vague acquaintance is one of them).... but if you were a dude and you wanted to do that stupid "half-handshake, then pull it in to bump shoulders and pat each other on the back" deal, I didn't mind that night. And ladies needing a nice long hug? I was open for business. Really weird. For me anyway.
* Then, finally, I think I did get the feeling of "normal" back about 4 days later. The Friday of that week. It was a combination of things, but mostly, it was a realization that the world WAS continuing, and almost as before, and that it'd be really lame to continue feeling so out of sorts when the truth is this really was a small and petty act ring-leadered by one small and petty wannabe tyrant and his even smaller and pettier henchmen. He doesn't deserve the distinction of putting me out of sorts, he doesn't have the stroke to change the direction of a nation, much less the world. Of course, things have changed, but I think my overall catharsis that Friday was the right basic idea: don't give the bad guys too much credit, and instead put that mental energy into appreciating how life around you is quickly bouncing back to the way it always was.