Sunday, May 01, 2011

Where were you?

I left Champaign, Illinois later than anticipated today, so I didn't get home until a quarter after midnight. (Let the historical record show that I've backdated this post.) I was listening to The Best Show podcasts, so for all practical intents, I was out of the loop.

Around 11:00 p.m. I exited the interstate to get a pizza from Cassano's in Springfield. The local chain is a favorite of mine when I lived in the Dayton area, so I'll often stop to pick one up when I pass through. (As far as it goes, I hadn't had supper yet. Lunch was around 4:00 p.m. Central time.)

I placed my order, went to use the restroom, and checked my e-mail on my iPhone. For whatever reason, one of my brothers had e-mailed to tell me to turn on the TV because Osama bin Laden was dead. He didn't e-mail anyone else, and I'm not sure why he sent me one. If I'm home, the TV is usually on, and if it isn't, chances are that the computer is. Maybe he knew I had been out of town. I'm not sure.

Clearly this was big news, but I don't know that the pizza shop employees had a clue. They had music on--I think it was a radio station playing Kanye West's "All of the Lights"--and it didn't seem like breaking news was coming across on it. I didn't say anything. Why? It seemed like a weird thing to bring up, especially if they already knew. And give me a pass because I was fairly tired.

I did a quick scan of my Twitter feed, which had exploded with the breaking story. Once back in the car I unplugged the iPod and switched to AM radio. I heard President Obama's speech and listened to the subsequent coverage wondering what this all might mean on Monday and the upcoming days, weeks, and months. My thoughts turned to those people I met at the film festival I was at and the traveling they will be doing in the aftermath of this announcement. You have to imagine that flying tomorrow may present some challenges.

Upon arriving home I did something I've rarely done in the last seven years: I turned on TV news. I've had it on since arriving and may stay up a lot later than I intended. I didn't get a lot of sleep the last several days, but this is the sort of occasion when sacrificing some z's can be justified. (Plus, I'm operating on Central time, when I was routinely up until 3:00 a.m.)

This may not be the most exciting story, but in this case I'm putting it down for posterity's sake. Who knows how much of it I'll remember in the years to come. Documenting it here means I don't necessarily need to.

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