Some of us can never forget… even when we want to.
I remember taking the train… reading about special relativity and imagining myself a photon on that train…
I remember getting to know an aunt I’d hardly known.
I remember her telescope… just a precocious high schooler teaching an actual adult how it worked.
I remember my first computer… that big old Compaq that was a gift, my gateway to my education.
I remember that morning… the phone calls… “buildings that big don’t just FALL.”
“… are we at war…?”
… scrambling to find family… seeing the home I’d known all my life, that I’d just left, under siege…
I remember The phone call… she’d been on that flight, you see…
… friends I’d just barely met holding me…
I remember trying to go to class… then running out in tears.
I remember everyone going home to be with their families. Except for us… our home wasn’t safe.
I remember the car ride to the memorial… I had to do a calculus test on the road.
I remember the service… how I’d wished I’d known her better.
I remember the first time I came home… the skyline was wrong. It was SO wrong.
I remember the smell… why do I smell smoke? The landfill had been re-opened you see. The smell. Lingered. For months.
I remember the foundation… all those phone calls to find services for the families. God how I hate phones.
I remember the first anniversary. I thought that would be the hardest one.
I remember screaming at the television when the perpetrators said “they deserved it.”
I remember cursing at the television when our government used their deaths to start a wrongful war.
I remember crying when I was given her old car… I loved that car. Love and duct tape go a long way.
I remember the politicization… the coopting of a tragedy… the false piety and bogus grief…
I remember the devastation to whole communities… as if one tragedy could excuse all others.
I remember my first argument with a “Truther” who said “there was no plane.” You disrespectful motherf-…
I remember the years and the distance and the distance… it was another life. Another me.
I don’t want to get into it. I didn’t want to remember it.
But here we are.