I wrote this post on September 11, 2009 and while I thought about amending it I opted to leave it alone. In ten years while we haven’t seen another attack on the U.S. there have my many terrorist attacks in other countries. We’ve been at war for over nine years. Countless lives have been lost. Before I get too political I’ll shut my mouth (or, you know, stop typing).
I try to add some humor to my posts (and fail 94% of the time) but since the following is about September 11, 2001 it will be joke-free. Unless I’m a classless individual and let one slip.
First of all, I usually write with the TV on and the baby babbling either in my lap or on the floor but I have eliminated these distractions for this post. Okay, the TV is paused and the baby is swinging. I didn’t eliminate the baby permanently for fuck’s sake.
Okay, I couldn’t even get into the meat of the post without crackin’ wise. IntegrityFAIL.
I was eighteen years old in 2001. It was one of the roughest years of my life. My depression was warping me into a monster. I’d already had a crisis (or what my mother labeled as a crisis at the time but as a much wiser adult now I realize just how bad I got) and even after I got on medication I still couldn’t get out of bed in the morning. Since I was not home schooled this obviously was a hindrance to me graduating from high school. So I didn’t. What a shining moment in my parents’ lives that must have been. Anyway, I was spiraling out of control and was eventually kicked out of my mother’s house. I stayed with my dad but that was awful too so I did whatever I could to avoid being there. I wanted to escape. I hated my life.
In August I met Scott. He came along at the perfect time because I was drowning and he pulled me out of the water and wrapped me up in a fluffy warm towel. Yep, that was Scott. He himself was not fluffy. The Navy and his rigid upbringing left him devoid of showing emotions but I always knew that he cared about me. We were dating for a very short time before I moved in with him. He quit his job before I met him and was living on his savings. I don’t know why he quit. It’s irrelevant. So both of us were unemployed and therefore spent all of our time together. My parents liked him. He took me off their hands. They no longer had to be responsible for me.
Scott and I were still sleeping that morning when my mom called around 10:30am. We always stayed up late watching movies or having sex and there was no reason to wake up early so we didn’t. I answered my phone and without saying hello first she said “I just want you guys to know that we’re okay. We decided to stay in this morning and not go sight-seeing.” My mom and her husband were visiting his family in Virginia and had planned on touring Washington DC that morning. I had no idea what she was talking about. Of course they’d be okay. Was she losing her mind? Then she told me to get my ass out of bed and turn on the television.
I sat in front of the television in my pajamas all day. Scott and I didn’t really talk much that day. We didn’t know what to say. And whatever we said – would it even matter?
That evening we went for a walk and saw a police car patroling the apartment complex. At that moment I felt safer than I had felt in a long time. The world was quiet. I knew that tomorrow was going to rip open the wound again but tonight was calm.
Surprisingly I didn’t have any nightmares about it but I remember praying so hard that I would get hot and flushed and start to cry. I didn’t know anyone that had been injured or killed in the crashes nor did I know anyone that knew anyone that was there. I was lucky. I was far away in my Texas town sitting on my sofa. I wasn’t breathing in ashes trying to get as far away from Ground Zero as possible. I wasn’t buried under rubble. I wasn’t frantically calling loved ones making sure that everyone was okay.
I was on my sofa. Like I am now. Far from being face to face with what happened. I think that for me that’s probably a good thing. I’m so sensitive that something like that would make my head explode from anxiety.
So….. that’s my 9/11 post. I almost said ‘obligatory 9/11 post’ but I didn’t feel obligated to write it. I felt compelled. Everyone has a story about what happened that day. There are a billion different points of view for a single series of events that changed our lives forever.