I hate this day. I hate it so much. In August, I usually start dreading it and wondering how I’m going to feel this year. It’s been eighteen years. 9/11 is old enough to vote. It doesn’t haunt me most of the time, it doesn’t drive me to drink. I hardly think of it anymore. But I’ll never forget. And still that date rolls around.
It’s just a normal day anymore, with the exception of Twitter and Facebook remembrances (like this one), but I want the world to stop. I don’t want to go to work. I don’t want anybody to go to work. I don’t want people to have Meet-ups or dates or parties. I don’t even know what I want people to do instead, I just don’t want them pretending that nothing happened today.
Maybe it’s because I was there. I took the train to the World Trade Center stop only a half-hour earlier. I heard the plane crash into Tower 2 and carried on stuffing envelopes like nothing happened. I evacuated my building and looked up at the double-landmark I knew and trusted as my compass in New York City on fire. I was almost hit by a smoldering cell phone case that someone was likely wearing on their belt when they died. I thought the world was coming to an end.
But it didn’t. And here we are. We got revenge on the people who caused it (as well as a whole lot of people who had nothing to do with it). Presidencies were won and lost. The Right went back to hating New York for being a bastion of moral depravity. The city rebuilt. And September 11 is just a normal day anymore.
This anniversary makes me feel so lonely. It doesn’t seem like anyone else feels as intensely as I do about today, not after almost twenty years. And how would anyone know how I felt? I’m pretty good at hiding it. Most of the people I’ve met over the past ten years have no idea what I went through that day. I don’t have anybody to talk to about it, and even if I did, I don’t know what I’d say. I can’t even write a coherent blog post after counting down to today working on it.
It’s been a long time. Never Forget.