May 2, 2011 at 12:09 am (Uncategorized)

My memory of 9/11 is this:

I’m standing on the corner of 6th Ave and Houston, watching the World Trade Center buildings. Or, rather, one of them. The other is gone, there is a gigantic plume of smoke coming out of the other, and I can’t believe my eyes. It’s maybe 9:30am, I was just in the building the night before. I want to vomit, but I’m too scared to. People around me are screaming. I have this deep sense that I’d better go and scurry off to work. I walk off, completely numb.

My memory then cuts to a few days later, walking up 6th Avenue and being surrounded by “missing” posters. I can remember what happens in the meantime with just the tiniest of prodding; actually, I can probably remember every second of those two or three days. But for some reason, this is where my mind naturally leads: just to walking and being surrounded by pictures of people who I know are dead, and feeling like I was probably dead, too.

So tonight it’s announced that bin Laden is dead. I’m not happy or relieved or anything like that. I’m fucking petrified that here we go again.

I just mentioned to one of my students last week that I can finally talk about 9/11 without wanting to puke or breaking out into goosebumps. That sensation of there being some break between me and the events is now gone. It’s all coming back.


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