I want to preface this post by saying that I was originally not going to write it, because I hate posts or pieces or whatever that say, “Let’s take this tragic and world historical event and process it through me.” But then I realized that I can—and I mean can in the literal sense, like “am only able to”—process this through me. Through my own experience and understanding. Which is this:
I wrote last year about how I grew up near New York City, and how my hometown and the people with whom I grew up were directly affected by the attacks on September 11th, and how people go around saying, “never forget,” which for me seemed superfluous, because how could I even begin to?
But I wrote that sitting at my desk in my university in New York City. I wrote that surrounded by New York and its inhabitants. I wrote that near the place in which I grew up and felt the aftermath (and then, as I think happened for so many, sort of didn’t). I couldn’t forget what happened to my country and my city because I was in my country, in my city.
Today I didn’t even realize it was September 11th until I checked my phone after lunch and saw the date.
I’m not really sure what to do with that. What to make of it. But I know that 1:30 PM is several hours too late to realize what day it is on this day. That that’s not who I want to be, regardless of where in the world I am. And I know that next year I won’t forget, because I’ll be back in America. But that sort of won’t be the point. Because I said I couldn’t forget, and I could. And I don’t know what that says about anything other than myself. And it’s something that I’d rather not have heard but cannot now un-hear. Something about myself. Something else I can never forget.