I have to stop watching all the 9/11 memorials. I feel like that is disrespectful (to whom?) in some ways, but I don't know how I can endure tomorrow unless I go into media blackout. I just sat through MSNBC's special which was basically a rebroadcast of their live show on 9/11/01. Watching all that information filter in, before we knew anything, felt like a punch to the gut. I alternate between dazed and teary. I kind of hope the breakdown will happen so that I can move past the hazy, anxious feeling.
This year seems harder than all the others, probably because of all the intense media focus.
I remember what I was wearing. I wore it for the next two days.
I remember being late for work.
I remember watching everything unfold in Ray's office and seeing coworkers cry.
I remember being in the cafeteria and watching on tv when the Pentagon news broke. I said something about hoping George Bush was up to the job and having a distraught guy physically threaten me for being so callous. He was right. I was wrong.
I remember stopping at CVS to buy a toothbrush because I didn't know where I was going to be staying and for how long. I still have it along with some cheap makeup.
I remember being alone in my parents house waiting for someone to get there. I remember talking to my brother in France and telling him that the Towers were just gone, just vanished. I talked to my friend's mom and my sister and BB and Tom.
I remember my parents finally getting home from Staten Island. It's like I can almost still feel that hug. I have hugged my parents countless times in my life but that one, I will remember.
I remember that we went to a Chinese buffet on Route 10 and could see the cloud.
I remember all the "missing" posters and the segments on tv.
I remember driving back to Brooklyn finally to pick up my cats and how eerie quiet the Turnpike is without the sounds of the airplanes.
I remember Owl's Head Park and the Pier being closed, but we could still see that cloud billowing from my street.
I remember holing up in the small bedroom in Whippany (Brian's bedroom), living out of a suitcase for longer than necessary because I was afraid of going back.
I remember shopping for wedding gowns and hearing numerous stories of cancelled weddings because of missing brides and grooms.
I remember finally moving back in and taking the subway to Manhattan. Everything was bustling and moving, but as we inched closer to Ground Zero, it was dead quiet, and people walked in single file lines down random streets.
I remember there were exceptions. I remember a fight between two men, one yelling at the other for taking pictures of his family posing in front of a particularly scary-looking backdrop. "THIS IS NOT A FUCKING TOURIST ATTRACTION. IT'S A GRAVE!" he screamed.
I remember people clapping for firemen and police officers when they drove down the West Side Highway.
I remember flying to France a few months later and there was a little bit of turbulence, enough to make me white knuckle my seat, and look over at my father who had his eyes scrunched shut and was saying prayers.
I remember that people liked us.
I remember that everyone knew somebody.
It's one of the oldest written cliches, but I remember it like it was yesterday. I can almost taste the sadness. There's no real way to end this, is there?