Secret Pop

Sep 12, 2021

Channel Surfing

This is a concatenated and lightly edited Twitter thread I posted yesterday, when it was actually 9/11. I'm reposting here because (a) I ended by suggesting I probably should have posted it here to begin with, (b) I haven't posted much in recent years and lament it, and (c) who knows, maybe someone will actually see it...? Here goes.

On September 10, 2001, I came home from a night out with friends at my favorite bar to an answering machine message (!) that I got a job I had been interviewing for. Offer would be faxed (!) to me the next day, I was moving to LA! The next morning, I saw the news of the first plane and watched live as the second plane hit. Suddenly everything was uncertain. The promised fax did not arrive. I didn’t know whether I would be moving to LA. Whether there was still going to be a job. I remember feeling horror and sadness and excruciating empathy for those that died and those they left behind.

By the end of the day, things had already shifted somewhat. A creepy guy I had dated called to suggest we go buy electronics at a steal. An ex boasted that he made everyone laugh in the line at the blood bank. I had tickets to a Tenacious D and Weezer concert that Friday, and it was canceled. But it was rescheduled a month or two later, so my sister and I didn’t miss out on Saxoboom. By the end of the week, I heard back about the job. They still wanted me. I began preparing to move.

I had just started a blog (this one!) a few days before all of this. If you go all the way to the beginning, you’ll see my first post on September 3. The 9/11 post is a very sad me, but within a few days, even I – newly single and moving to La La Land – reset to one.

On subsequent anniversaries, my posts were more thoughtful and introspective. I had become a little more at ease writing for the faceless, nameless void. With hindsight, the “nothing will ever be the same”ness of that day was far more of a fracture than I could have known. While many of us who weren’t living or working near Ground Zero began carrying on as normal, the whole of everything had changed. And the ensuing decades, filled with unnecessary war and inexcusable bigotry and the profitability of fearmongering, can’t be undone or rewritten.

It’s nearly impossible to believe it’s been 20 years. So much has happened. So much hasn’t. Life can’t be viewed in chunks that big. But I go back to those first feelings. The feelings of “what if it had been someone I loved.” The profound sadness. I don’t know if it helps. But I hope moments like this can be an opportunity for all of us to reassess if the road we are on right now is leading us to a twenty-years-from-now world that we like. Those innocent people who died, what world would they have wanted to be living in today if they had lived?

Anyway, get vaccinated. Be kind. We sink or swim together, whether we like each other or not.