Hey, It’s Me Again.

I never know how to come back from heavy stuff.  All week I’ve read my friends beautiful posts over and over and thought “I gotta wrap this up” but how do you wrap up something like this?  Especially when I still have posts I want to link to like THIS ONE from my fellow NYU Alum {link very graphic} Tracy who I only met on the online a couple of years ago, and yet her story and it’s lessons tie in so tightly with my own.

The events of that fateful morning and the days that followed terrified me, infuriated me, devastated me, but perhaps most importantly they made me consider my role as a storyteller.  As a historian.  As sometime who wanted to capture the human experience in motion (albeit I kind of thought more through comedy.)   And then reconsider it.   In the days and weeks that followed people shared stories and discussed (as pretentious as it sounds – but we’re talking about NYU film school here) our role as artists vs. witnesses in this tragic piece of history.  

I tore the mag strip of my September 11th tape because I thought I’d violated those that I’d captured. Ten years later, I write down every emotion that I have because I want to make sure anyone who is looking for solace knows that they are not alone. Watching Tracy’s video and seeing that familiar look of uncomprehending terror on her face, as difficult as it was for me to watch, is a comforting reminder that what we experienced as twenty year olds trying to make sense of the world as it was, we did not experience alone.

Around 3pm on September 11th I packed my yellow jansport with cereal, water and clean underwear and started what I thought would be a hike into Queens where my [Valley Stream Long Island Fire Captain] Cousin Uncle Ed had promised to come get me no matter how long it took us to find each other, but ended up being a trek to Penn Station that ended in us squeezing onto the first (and maybe last?) train out of the city.

As the packed train emerged from the tunnel, onto the bridge that ran past the WTC, people wept as we saw the full extent of the damage – gaping holes where thousands of lives used to be – my hot pink cell phone rang for the first time, the midi of Nena’s fitting “99 Luft Balloons” – my very first custom ring tone – piercing the shocked silence. It was Scott. Finally. I started crying before I even answered the phone.

Anyway – it’s been a week since the ten year anniversary and I know it’s time to get back to living in the now. I’m sad, and thinking about New York a lot lately, Sara’s moving back east and I’m already feeling really lost without her. 

I want to thank everyone who participated and shared their stories here, I can’t tell you guys how much it has meant to me to piece this series together. I love you all. And for easy reference, here they are in order of appearance:

10 Years Later.
Dan Brown: Father, Author, Teacher
Amy Hunt: Speech Pathologist, Thrift Store Connoisseur, Romantic.
Lindsey Anthony: Playwright, Thinker, Documentarian
Keeley McNamara: Midwife, Mother, Lover of Life
Sara Moe: Mother, Photographer, Keeper of Memories
Neal Dusedau: Screenwriter, Wine Guy, Glue
Katie Notopoulos: Mad Internet Scientist
Melaina: Creepy Internet Friend
(First Hand Account from Washington, D.C.)

And now I’m bridging the gap awkwardly here and doing my best to move on like a proper child of the 80′s.  With a Mix Tape.

9 Responses to Hey, It’s Me Again.

  1. babyrabies says:

    I just watched that video your friend Tracy is in from the NYU dorms. OMG. I can’t even.

    • the818 says:

      @babyrabies I should warn it’s very graphic.

      • wa_tracy says:

        @babyrabies it was quite horrific to watch years later. it’s strange to find that someone captured a moment in my life…one that I’ve been trying to forget for a long time. but really, I will never forget. It’s a part of me now.

        • babyrabies says:

          @wa_tracy@babyrabies The moment was easy for me to suppress and escape and ignore, living in Middle America at the time. I simply can’t even begin to understand what you 2, and everyone in NYC and the Capitol lived through that day and continue to sift through now. Denial has always been my go-to coping mechanism. Hard to deny how awful that day was when you witnessed it first hand, I imagine.

  2. DudeOfTheHouse says:

    Great piece. I know how that day affected me 3,000 miles away from NYC:

    http://dudeofthehouse.blogspot.com/2011/09/911-new-hope.html

    but hearing the 1st hand stories even a decade later are still as powerful as the days, weeks and months after the attacks. Much like the Holocaust, we must remember what happened, so that it will never happen again.

    Thanks for sharing your tale.

    JJ – The Dude

    dudeofthehouse.blogspot.com

    http://www.facebook.com/TheDudeOfTheHouse

    Twitter: DudeOfTheHouse

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