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September 11th

September 13th, 2011 No comments

The tenth anniversary of 9/11/01 has come and gone and what struck me most about the remembrance of that awful, strange, alien day was how non-eventful it was. While recent transplants to NYC and tourists filled “ground zero” (a term I loathe) and facebook statuses with flag pins and sad faces I was on Fire Island having an egg sandwich. I looked up at the television screens in the Pines Pantry and saw footage of the smoking towers, caught a glimpse, and quickly looked away. It was too soon to be playing it, using the footage for ratings before the anniversary began in earnest. It took me most of the morning to realize that today was 9/11, not some date next week, and that the world around me was remembering and mourning while I wandered about a luxurious beach house thinking about Alex and whether I should finally have that operation on my herniated disc. I read a little, tried to do some work on my new laptop, regretted forgetting my iPad charger at the apartment. Later I went out and got into a fight with a stranger, throwing a drink in his face in a crowded bar. I got very drunk. None of it had anything to do with those events ten years ago, the act that occurred on the very day I, a newly-minted grown up, moved back to New York City from Evanston, Illinois in a borrowed Ford Explorer loaded with all my worldly possessions. I haven’t spoken about the anniversary with any of my acquaintances or family, not even a close friend who revealed to me years after September 11th, 2001 that he still often woke up in the middle of the night to the deafening sound of jets screaming by just above his pillow. I’ve been busy, busy wrapping up the summer and sleeping odd hours, busy fretting over a ding in the car door and doubling up on appointments with my shrink for no (conscious) reason. My stomach upset is probably a touch of the flu, unlikely as that virus is hiding in my still-tanned body. My headache the result of too much champagne and not enough water, my squeezed chest the byproduct of who knows how many small, insignificant challenges eased by a klonopin and some cardio. None of it is related to that thing that happened then. How could it be? I’m not even thinking of it.

Reade Street, September 2001

 

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