If there were a real Fountain of Youth, would you drink the water?
Only if I was absolutely sure the water was clean and pure, lol. Is there a sign there that says it’s OK to drink? I don’t want to be stupid and die a painful death from a foolhardy poisonous trap. And no telling how many people have walked in that fountain or if it even has the ability to magical clean itself. But in the best case scenario I would absolutely love to shed some years off my life, but not too many, maybe just down to about seven years old. I wouldn’t stop at my 12 to 14 year old life, since those weren’t exactly the brightest days.
Back in September 2001, I was sitting at an Apple IIe computer in the resource room, another name for the special room for kids with learning disabilities. I was ten years old. I remember the phone ringing and my teacher in there picking it up. She said hello and there was a moment of silence before she promptly hung up. Then she turned on the television hanging from the ceiling and instantly a news broadcast about some plane having crashed into a New York City building came up. It looked horrifying. The first thing I noticed was the big clouds of grey smoke surrounding a smoldering tower. Then an announcement came over the PA system:
“Because of a recent terrorist attack, all students are being let out of school early today for their safety. Please have them exit the building and board the buses immediately. Parents are free to pick up their children if necessary.”
I’m not sure if it went exactly like that but nevertheless, I was sent home that day, not really knowing what was going on. It was only until I got home and saw that my parents were talking about the attacks and had the news broadcast on that it registered in my mind. And then the second tower was hit and I remember my mom freaking out over it, not wanting to see the replay that was being used multiple times. This was the first time I was seeing something like this, being so used to cheery cartoons and Disney shows. Being forced by dad to sit there and take in the events “out of respect” was a little painful and boring because this wasn’t my idea of fun. And then President Bush came on with an urgent announcement. And of course all blame was laid on him.
The rest is a bit muddy. All I remember is a number of country songs being released the following weeks giving tribute to the 2,993 that lost their lives. I remember some controversy going around about Toby Keith releasing a song with the lyric “Cause we’ll put a boot in your ass/It’s the American way”. It died down though in midst of more serious matters, the biggest one being the war in Iraq that would ignite and keep going for very long time.
With the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina this week, it would be a story to go back to when New Orleans was in the middle of devastation. I was 13 years old at the time and just beginning to understand how the world works. I remember the levees breaking, remember the flooding of the city on TV, remember the people seeking refuge in the Louisiana Superdome that had a hole in the roof.
Would I have the power to change events? I sure hope so. I would love to revisit that spelling bee in fourth grade that I got eliminated on the very first word I received: Flashback! Oh, geez. How did I get that wrong? Did the judges mishear me? I should have said something to them. I was very sure that I spelled the word right. But being that I didn’t have much of a voice, I just went and sat where my mom and sisters were and watched the rest of the contest. My mom asked me what had happened and I just shrugged my shoulders. Felt like a big disappointment there and the next day in school. No one seemed to acknowledge it though.
I wrote a poem similar to this prompt topic back on November 19, 2014.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Forever Young.”