I can’t stop singing “Try to Remember” today. It’s from The Fantasticks.
“Try to remember a time in September when no one wept except the willow…”
Broken releases today. But for me there is no pomp and circumstance. There is no celebration or party. In fact, I’ve postponed most of the celebrations until the 15th. The 11th is a day to remember.
I detested that motto the day I heard it “We will never forget.” As if we ever could. As if we’ve forgotten Pearl Harbor or Nagasaki. As if we have forgotten the day Lincoln was shot. You may already know, I am a New Yorker. I live three hours from the City (That’s New York talk for NYC). The year that the towers fell, I had been in New York at least twice a month. For the last three years, actually. I have pictures of me standing in the foyer of the towers. I have pictures of me looking at them. I know that street. I know the smell of New York. The food, the theaters. The streets lined with lights in the snow during the December winters. There is nothing more beautiful than the streets of 5th Avenue in the winter. I know the smell of Lincoln Center… standing out on the balcony of the New York City Ballet and gazing down at the water fountain. They shut it down in the winter. And the tree in Rockefeller Center! And the taste of a New York bagel at 8 A.M. OCH! Nothing in the world tastes like that. And the Met! My god I miss walking in Central Park after a day spent in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I miss it all so much.
I miss it.
For me, 9/11 means so much more than the day the towers fell. I hate what I remember. I hate that I can recall the very date, the very time that—
I suffered with the 3,000 who died and their families that day. I suffered alongside you that day. That was the day we all suffered together. I hugged strangers and cried the next day. But the day of… I suffered in a very unusual way. One, that few people can relate to. I mean, how many people were raped while listening to the chaos on the radio moments after the towers fell? People screaming… people scream— Oh…
Tomorrow is my daughter’s birthday. She’ll be eight. I was able to choose her birth date. I had the choice of the 11th, the 12th, or the 13th. My family suffered from a massive DWI accident on the 13th that killed my uncle and cousins. I didn’t choose the 13th either. I chose the 12th. A day of happiness sandwiched between two horrendous days. I asked for the 19th: Talk Like A Pirate day.
I don’t want to talk about how I felt on 9/11 or where I was. You don’t want to know where I was. So instead of recalling where I was on 9/11… I ask people where they were on 9/11. Where were you when the world cried? Please tell me? What were you doing? What were you feeling when you watched those planes hit the towers? Tell me what you were doing so I can try to imagine something other than what I remember.
“We will never forget.” My god I wish I could.