September 11, 2001: I was living in Los Angeles, California, working as a medical device salesman. It was a pretty good gig. I really didn’t have to work that much, just drive around L.A., schmooze with the nurses and doctors of the hospitals I visited, and they would buy my stuff for their operating rooms. It was a good, easy gig. I lived up in this shack of a guest house in the Hollywood Hills. It was kind of a dump, and I had to use the bathroom in the main house, but it was a great location. And I had Internet, which is all I really needed since I wasn’t big on watching TV that much.

That particular morning, I remember being asleep and my cell phone buzzing away. It was still like before 6 AM, and I didn’t have my first appointment until 930 or so, so I ignored it and returned to sleep. When I woke back up, a few hours later, I looked at the phone and saw I had a voice message from my mother. I thought, “Eh, I’ll check it later,” because I had to start getting ready to roll out for the day.