I was listening to the radio at 9:15 Eastern -- NPR, Saturday morning news -- when they broke into the broadcast to say that NASA had lost contact with the shuttle. I went rigid, waiting for news, but they didn't say anything more. I got up and showered -- I was supposed to meet Ross at 10.
When I got out of the shower, they were saying the shuttle had split apart. I immediately thought terrorism -- I am a product of 9/11, and a New Yorker. I see terrorists and conspiracies before I see mechanical failure, or the omnipresent simplicity of pure accidents.
I called Ross to tell him I needed to come in late.
I called my mom at 9:45. I wanted to know what it looked like. (I have no television.) My stepfather works for the Minneapolis newspaper, and had just been called in to cover the disaster. He answered the phone on his way out the door.
I woke my mother up. "Turn on CNN, tell me what it looks like?"
On the other end of the line, my mother yawned. "Ray, are you going to work? Get me some coffee before you go... Okay, Linds, I'm flipping to the right channel..." Silence. "Oh, my god. Shit shit shit. This is not good. Oh, fuck."
This from the woman that gets on my case for saying "Damn."
I worry that the timing of this accident is too coincidental.