It was a Tuesday night, and we were out drinking at the box. My days off were Wednesday and Thursday, so it was my weekend at that point, but it didn’t really matter much in those days; I didn’t start work until after noon most days, so every night was beer o’clock. On the corner, out front of the convenient store, there was this… I dunno, I think it was some sort of electrical or phone switching box, about waist-high, coated in some sort of hard, stippled green paint. There was a fence of aluminum tubing, just short of waist-high, on three sides of it, spaced such that if you were leaning on the fence, the box was the perfect height and distance away to put your beer and your snacks.

No open container laws, so we called it “the box,” and met there every night. Across the sidewalk, there was a trash-can that we’d sometimes use to play at “throw the empties away.”

Drunken gaijin playing beer-can basketball on the sidewalk.

I don’t think I’d been there long that night when my phone played the little section of MIDI Bach that I used to have as a ringtone.

“Ohmygod, are you watching the NYC live news?? Two planes just hit the world trade center. bush says terrorism”

Huh.

I really thought I had more to say when I started typing this, but we all know the rest of the story.

In a year, some young person in the United States is going to raise their right hand and swear away the next four years, or however much less is granted them, of their lives. Someone who has never drawn breath while the towers stood.

Yeah, that’s all.

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