As time passes, trauma fades. Every year that September 11 has passed, there’s been a little less reflection and that makes perfect sense. We have to move on and continue living while we reflect on the past.
We talk a lot about September 11, but there’s not much chatter about September 16. The entire slate of NFL games was canceled. It was a confusing day, and that was perfectly fine by me since I was in a unusual space. I was in a hospital room with a PICC line in my left bicep, pretty much constantly attached to a bag of antibiotics. My parents had started importing food for me, because that hospital stuff, it’s not good. That I actually cared about what I had to eat was a big deal. My waking hours had been spent in a fog of confusion, exhaustion, and a steady stream of nurses, doctors, family and friends. I was the star of a show that still didn’t make much sense.
The television hanging in the top corner of the room was key. It was a splash of normalcy. The reason why a lot of my hallucinations while I was getting out of my medically-induced coma involved football was because my family often left the TV on ESPN.
That Sunday was different. There were no games. I can’t even remember what they put on in that space. Probably some boring movie.
This was the key emotion of the entire day. For the first time since re-joining the living, I was bored. It was a watershed moment of my recovery, and a bizarre lack of football was the reason.
Shortly after the games returned, I was released from the hospital. Thanks, football.