I don’t want to watch the 9/11 tributes that are filling the airwaves this week to the exclusion of all else. I don’t want to read the New York Magazine cover story, I don’t want to change my Facebook status in honor of the fallen, I don’t want to look at the commemorative pens my office is handing out with a donation to the 9/11 fund and I didn’t want to put my thoughts on video about it.
I just want it to be September 12th.
I tear up a lot less on September 12th.
Maybe it all sounds a little harsh. But I’m sure I speak for other New Yorkers who were here ten years ago, I don’t need to relive the day over and over with news footage and new, never before seen video tape! to remember it.
I remember 9/11 just fine, thank you.
Five years ago, I wrote: I’ve had five years to get used to it and I’m still not used to it. I don’t know if I ever will be.
And now here I am, five years beyond that, thinking the same thing.
You’d think I’d feel a little more at peace with it. Better about that gaping void in the downtown skyline, or the yellowed tribute photos that still hang on that fence near my old apartment in the West Village. But I still get a pit in my stomach at the mere mention. I still get nauseous thinking about my birthday plans, and whether it continues to be too creepy to celebrate anything that day.
I still think about that distinct prophecy I had ten years ago, that things would never be the same again. In some ways they are. That’s the one good thing. But in other ways, they’re not. Because every time I walk through the airport metal detectors barefoot; sign into an office building just to pop up for a dentist appointment; scold myself for not always, always having a full charge on my cell phone or cash under the mattress, it’s a reminder that things have changed. Every time I drive past that wretched construction site just south of Chambers street, it’s a reminder that things have changed.
I’ve had ten years to get used to it and I’m still not used to it.
I’ll check back in with you in five more years and we’ll see how that’s going.