Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Eleven years since 911
Each of us, the citizens of the United States alive and aware on September 11, 2001, has his own intimacy with that day. I know I do.
An early morning phone call. That is how the day began. I was still abed. Awake, but abed. It was a reckless time in life. Mahatma Candy daze.
The call was my roommate's mother. Calling from Texas to speak to her son. "They've flown a plane into the Trade Towers!"
I flicked on the tube and watched while I got dressed for work. Two horrific smudge towers, belching Void-black smoke. My first thought: "My God! There are people in there!" Then, realizing this was not a bizarre chance event but an act of savagery, this brain-freezer: "The people who did this really hate us."
At work, people watched the television in the weight room. 'Twas a day of Fate. I watched for a bit.
Human memory is a malleable substance; we do the best we can with Truth. But I believe even as I watched the towers burn, I knew what to expect from my people --the people of the United States --and I dreaded it.
Strike up the band and people will dance. Not all, but many. There are always dancers, waiting for someone to call the tune.
Not me. I won't dance.
I'll sing, though.
Eleven years have delivered fear to reality. Eleven years of war. Eleven years of jingo-hooliganism. Eleven years of Islamophobia.
I wonder: what did bin Laden hope to achieve?
Nothing good has come of 911. There is no silver lining to it.