THE DEATH OF EVERYTHING I EVER LOVED ABOUT THE USA

The day John Kennedy was shot, I was eighteen. My English professor, wearing a suit and black pumps and almost twenty minutes late to class, walked to the podium and quietly told us the news. Her voice quavered. What it must have cost her to be so calm.

I took the train home. Everyone was gathered around the television, unspeaking — rare for a family where each person had at least two opinions about everything. Shock reigned. Mrs. Kennedy’s pink suit, the way she crawled out of the back seat of the convertible, watching that over and over, taught me about horror.

[for the rest of my essay in McSweeneys.net, go to a-force-outside-myself-citizens-over-60-speak

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