I’m sure it hasn’t escaped your attention that the ten year anniversary of 9/11 is almost here. It feels weird to call it an anniversary, since anniversaries seem like happy events, and nothing about 9/11 was happy.
I’ve written about 9/11 several times over the years–a brief account of my day that is filed away somewhere in a notebook, a short commentary once on how the day changed me, forum posts about where I was, who I was, and what I was doing. Every one of them felt fake, though I wrote nothing but the truth–I wrote them with almost no emotion, which seems unbelievable since I am a pretty emotional person. Sometimes I feel detached from my memories of the day, though I know I was there, who I was with, what went on, and remember so much about everything.
This year, 9/11 memories are everywhere. Everyone is talking about that September day. And I can’t bring myself to watch any coverage, any documentary, any first-person accounts. I have avoided reading almost anything related to the day. I read everything. I write about everything. But this year…I just can’t.
It isn’t that my story is something spectacular. It isn’t. I personally know people who lost loved ones, had personal losses, had lives changed forever in ways that I will never be able to imagine.
Maybe in another ten years I will be able to really process that day. Maybe I’ll be able to watch, read about, and really relive that day. But not this year. This year, I want to pretend that 9/11 is just another day…which is, I suspect, still a part of the coping process.