I purposely hid from my blog yesterday. I didn't want to get wrapped up in saying something about the state of the country, the world, or where I was on 9-11.
I don't know why. Maybe I just felt that other people would say it better than I would, and they did.
With a little bit of perspective, I'll say a few things because it's the right thing to do. It's probably not right to write a eulogy for the Crocodile Hunter and then lapse on this tragedy's anniversary.
On the day in question, I was at the office, in a meeting. One of my employees (back then I was actually in charge of people, before they learned better) stuck her head in the meeting and said that they'd just announced that a plane had smacked into the World Trade Center. Like many, we assumed she was talking about a Cessna, and joked about how someone had screwed up royally.
The second plane hit just a few minutes after I got back to my desk.
My company was a tight-fisted advertising agency with a pathetic client base who forced us all to stay and assume business as usual. It wasn't of course, and while we were held there, nothing was accomplished the rest of the day.
I spent much of the day trying to reach a cousin of mine who went to school in Detroit but lived across the border in Canada. With the borders closed, I knew she was trapped in the states and wanted to tell her she had a place to stay. I never reached her, and she drove several hours to her parents' house.
Nicole was sent home, and she went to be with her mom. They went to a bagel shop (their regular coffeehouse had closed). There was a little boy there, excitedly telling anyone who would listen it was his birthday, not understanding why his parents hushed him.
My friend who worked on Manhattan and lived on Staten Island had to walk several miles to get home because the ferry shut down. She bought slippers in Chinatown because she was in a pair of dress shoes, and the smoke and dust gave her breathing problems that persisted for months.
As the economy crashed, a lot of my friends lost their jobs. I actually had an interview scheduled for 9-11, but the position went poof!
That was my 9-11. Nothing compared to the people who lost their lives, or their families, but pretty typical. We were all hit pretty hard that day, and thinking about it now still hurts, still feels fresh.
Now for 9-12... in observation of 9-12, I am returning you to your regularly scheduled madnessositynous.
Weird how the fifth anniversary got me more than the others. Maybe it's because the chaos still lingers on. I don't think anyone suspected during the months afterwards that we'd still be wandering around, looking for clarity in the madness.
People used to say we should go on with our lives as normal so the terrorists wouldn't win. But, in and around the time of all of this, I was working on an Independent film with a good friend. It would have happened had there been investors, but nobody wanted to risk the extra scratch. Poof. That was gone, too.
Not complaining that 9/11 halted my movie. Just saying many lives were lost. Many were changed forever. Even more were made more difficult. Everyone lost one dream or another. And we were all depressed (maybe still are?) whether we realized it or not.
I keep thinking we'll come out of this time with a greater respect for what's really important. Family and friends and keeping them close.
I know in our lifetimes we will know prosperity again as a nation. Unity and thoughtfulness and all that stuff that's easier to spare when times are good.
I just wish this current reality wasn't the only reality my kids have ever known.
I hope they get a better world somehow.
(Next post, I'll make jokes.)
Madnessositynous is the ameliorative. We appreciate it, even if we can't spell it.
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