Tuesday, September 11, 2007

the twin towers are merely two buildings

Today is the first rainy September eleventh since before the September Eleventh. I notice this immediately when I step outside this morning to walk to yoga. I feel relief.

I call my dad. I called my dad that morning. He was the only one I spoke to before leaving everything but my mis-matched pajamas, dwindling cigarette supply, and un-brushed teeth behind. I tell my dad that it feels like letting go, no more cloudless sky frozen in time. I am stretched and enlivened by eight. This time, I am prepared for anything.

I lock my keys in my apartment on my way out the door for work an hour later. I walk umbrella-less to my landlord's office, truly careless of the drizzle. I will never be prepared for the unexpected. It's unexpected. Though, this time I know it's not the end of the world.

Six years past the fact, there is not much I retain from that day. I wonder how I got through. I know that I was really somewhere else—wondering how to get to class on-time, with my paints and a bra. There is a moment or two that flash: all the rescue workers, the sirens, the ship heading to sea, and me imagining scenes from some doomsday flick. None compare to the sight of bodies dropping like coins, the monstrous feeling of death and abandonment when the first building shattered—that I am in a history book when the second tower is nearly gone.

It is unfortunate—what we've become since then. We lost the fundamental depth, the indication, the meaning. For all of the goodness that organized war has beckoned, it has never stopped the hate or the fighting.

We promised we'd make good of September Eleventh with our flags and our tears and our songs and our never-forgets. But we let go of the empathy, the horror of losing monumental buildings, as if one's own country. Losing lives in haste—no matter how misguided or indifferent, is devastating, tragic, downright obscene.

And I keep thinking that we're missing something. Some great green land, vast and quiet, where everyone is everyone. Where everyone is safe.


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