I don’t usually post on 9/11, but this souvenir photo booklet spilled out of a box in my QED office today. Haven’t seen it in years and so it must have wanted to be shared. It’s from a visit to NYC in ’98 with my theater friends from Ohio. The next year I came back several times, weaning myself away from my friends and old life before finally making the big, permanent move.
I wrote about it a little bit in my memoir: “I was approaching my one year anniversary of living in New York City when, on September 11, 2001, terrorists flew planes into the twin towers of the World Trade Center. Some new residents were spooked by the calculated evil attack and fled to the perceived safety of their hometowns. My reaction was the opposite. I dug in my heels. I had finally found a place where I belonged and I was staying.”
On that day, I was in Rockefeller Center. I walked home over the 59th Street Bridge and kept the shoes I was wearing until 2 years ago when I finally threw them out. I have a picture of them, though. I don’t know why but I wanted to have them to remember that awful walk home. Here’s a pic of them on flickr: https://flic.kr/p/ndejG
Every year I think I’ll share a little about the walk home but never do. I haven’t wanted to feed tragedy fetishists or exploit the monumental loss with my relatively banal experience. Maybe tomorrow. September 12th.
I was pretty pissed off on September 12, 2001. I woke up at my usual time and went to work. “It is better to die on one’s feet than live on one’s knees,” I thought. I was fuming with rage. I *refused* to be too afraid to live my life. I had already gone through that after my Dad’s attack on my mother. Then, I was 17 and lived in fear of what the locks on my doors didn’t do. I married a man, took his last name and fled from it all.
Not this time. Nope. Not a chance.