9.11.2004

September That Never Ended


P1010039
Flickr photo credit: stepinrazor
ITEM: VANITY FAIR's editor Graydon Carter is plugging his new book this month, What We’ve Lost, a timely scrutinizing of The Bush Administration's agenda including (but not limited to) the sniping of our civil liberties, the demolishing of the economy (we used to have a surplus) and probably a few good chapters on the trashing of the environment.

ITEM: HBO Sports is releasing Nine Innings From Ground Zero later this month. It's all about baseball's role as an uplifting presence in American life two months after the event.

ITEM: Google September. The first 18 pages of listings are references to pages about September 11, 2001.

ITEM: CBS News will be broadcasting from Ground Zero on that morning.

Every single one of these pieces features an image of an American flag.

I can just say "that morning" and everyone will know what I'm referring to. In September.

Some of you may have had a private chuckle reading the headline; but I used to look forward to it anyway. New strangers on the 'net, gearing up for Back-to-School, catching up with old friends, a sharp change in the weather. Hot cider and apple picking just weeks away. To me, September had always been a month of beginnings.

But as Bob Dylan sang, things have changed.

The muscles tighten in my jaw, my throat constricted, my eyes can not look at the screen as I type. I even avoided turning the page in my SpongeBob calendar for nearly two full weeks. I behave differently now.

I've been left with a very serious emotional scar.

It's shocking, I didn't think I was the type. But here it is. My language has changed entirely when I discuss September and I never noticed until today. My boss says "What's the matter? You're not your usual self..." and I can't explain it, I say "I'm just tired."

There's another building going up across the street, the new Bank of America building, and it began demolition in the middle of Spring 2004 and will be constructed and fully functioning in 2006.

That's two years for a 50 floor, 960 foot high building with 1.5 to 2 million square feet in office space.

So maybe I am. Maybe I am just tired of whatever the world is trying to sell me about that day. The books, the magazines, the movies, the war. It was not the greatest tragedy in human history but there's still an enormous hole in the middle of downtown Manhattan and for what reason? Why?

So that news crews can go down there and say to America and the rest of the world "LOOK AT WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO US? WE ARE STILL FULL OF SORROW AND REGRET. ONE THOUSAND MEN AND WOMEN HAVE DIED TRYING TO FILL THIS HOLE."

Is it still there for the children who lost their parents? Would you bring your child there, nose-up to the Viewing Fence? The place is desolate. This is only a question Larry Silverstein can answer and I just keep getting angrier and angrier the more I think about it.

Maybe they'll move the inauguration there. Wouldn't that be poetic.
I can see the podium now.