On the fifth anniversary of September 11, I wrote about what I saw and experienced that day, living in New York and seeing the buildings on fire. Not on TV, but actually from the street. And then on TV, because that’s how we share experiences as Americans. I was by no means nearest or most affected by the events, but like every New Yorker who was here on that day, it will always be a part of me. I sometimes find myself stopped in my tracks by a random thing. Yesterday I got weepy several times for “no reason”.
As we move further and further away from the day, some of the continued reminiscences begin to feel maudlin. like rubbernecking. I don’t want to begrudge people who don’t live here, who never lived here, their own feelings, but there are times when I start to get offended by the meme-ification of the events scattered through various feeds, most often seemingly posted by people from far-off locations, and then I try to stop myself, because it was such an overwhelming event and people have their own ways of dealing with things. The New Yorkers post tangible, sometimes terrible, actual memories, because we have those, not that we want them.
Things that made me cry yesterday, in order…
– Completely randomly, based on my OCD podcasting queue habits, when I got on the subway yesterday morning, Episode 4 of Mystery Show started playing. The description in the link is intentionally vague (I had no idea what it would be about when it started), and if you don’t want to be spoiled, skip to the next bullet. The episode involves Starlee trying to solve her own mystery – of a license plate that she saw that read “I Luv 911”. Did it refer to EMS? a radio station? or well, 9/11? A lot of people have theories, and the fact that the conclusion made me cry on yesterday of all days should probably clue you in to the answer.
– Towards the end of the day, Sars posted her fourteenth anniversary essay on the events. And the fact that she never found Don. And that she even considered, yes, contacting Mystery Show to look into it. I commented on the post itself, but the essay, plus the callback to my own morning, left me a little weepy.
– And then, of course, on the heels of renewing my commitment to photography, I dragged my camera to work yesterday with the intention of finding some spot to actually take some good pictures of the tribute in lights. I think I’ve gotten one halfway-decent iPhone photo of the lights up until now. After doing a little online research, I decided to head over to Roosevelt Island. I figured downtown and Brooklyn Bridge Park would be too crowded, and there was just no chance I was going to New Jersey. There was a lot of opportunity to simply stand around and wait, in relative quite and solitude, and it was the right choice. (Side note – the last time I went to Roosevelt Island, the half surrounding the old smallpox hospital was all overgrown brush. It’s now been converted into a quite lovely park and they are still developing a whole “Four Freedoms” center on the island. The only downside is that I couldn’t get a good shot of the Pepsi sign because access to the path to get a good shot was behind a locked gate at this hour).