I am 15. One morning during the second week of high school, large planes crash into larger buildings in strategic locations in the United States, which causes many air travellers coming west from Europe to become grounded in my city. I wonder with fear if I will need to become a soldier, but for now all I do is head to a local gymnasium to help accommodate the wayward fliers. They came from away to stay for some days, and it is found that I am a mediocre hospitality provider.
Eventually, the stranded return home, and a short time later I am in the school stairwell, putting up a student council election poster. Mr. Dressup had died three days earlier, so my campaign message was simply a picture of him and under it, “Ernie Coombs, November 26, 1927 – September 18, 2001. Vote For Ian.” They do not vote for Ian, and I accept that I am not popular right now.
A conscious abandonment of my group of friends from junior high relegates me to a lazy shuffle. My lunch times are spent in the library because I do not know where to sit in the cafeteria.
It is Friday night, and I’m watching Almost Famous in my basement. I can hear my parents trying to get my sister to invite me out with her friends so that I don’t spend another night alone. I decide I want to be a writer, but this resolution is forgotten, and counterintuitively, lost in the throes of adolescent depression.