We were in Ojai for a short vacation
We slept in.
While at a housewares/decorating/novelty store, about 11AM, a clerk started following us around.
He needed to connect.
He was creepy.
I thought he was hitting on one of us, probably the blond one, Adam, not me.
He asked us if we heard what happened.
We were puzzled.
He told us a plane flew into the World Trade Center.
I thought he meant a small one. By mistake.
Then he told us another plane hit the second one.
Then I thought he was nuts and sort of like Mike White in Chuck and Buck.
Then he told us that both of the buildings fell down.
And while I was thinking that he was off his meds and just making stuff up I noticed that Adam had a hit of recognition on his face. He had caught something out of the corner of his eye on a television.
Adam turned to me and told me that he thought he saw or heard something happened in New York.
It started to seem real.
The clerk still seemed like a strange spastic who needed friends.
He was our messenger.
I went outside and called my father on my candy bar cell phone.
I asked my father if any of this was true.
He said, in his warm and strong Yonkers accent--Yes. It's unbelievable.
We continued to talk. My father's innocence was destroyed. Mine was.
We called other friends on our cell phones.
We only had cell phones for about fourteen months.
We went back to our room and watched the horror for a few hours.
Like everyone else, we called whoever we could, went into shock, checked on whoever we could.
We did not stay at the inn. It was paid for but we left. We felt like we had to go home.
Of course, we got off very easy.
Four weeks later, we got a dog.