Friday, September 12, 2014


    This is the evening of September 12th. 

    When I hear "September 12th," my brain immediately whispers, "It's the day AFTER September 11th." Yeah, yeah, they're numbers, dates. I got it. Two comes after one. Three's after two. 47 follows 46. 400 million and forty-three comes after 400 million and forty-two.

It's numerical. I went to kindergarten, I understand. My brain can comprehend this sequence.

    We usually remember the dates of important events or achievements in this manner. Chronology. A way to organize the passage of time in the order of occurrence. My favorites, personally, I see their representative numbers and associate the two together, particularly Christmas, 25 with the 25th, and my birthday, 30 with the 30th. I know those dates. These are affiliated with previously created and stored emotions, senses, and experiences that are predominately positive and memorable. The day that follows, well, it simply becomes the day AFTER this or that "thing" occurred. Its level of importance can hardly be compared to the previous "it" day.

Trumping these, though, is a date, a number, that will always induce an even stronger memory, something burned into my brain and body. Into all of our memories.

September the 11th.
September. THE. eleventh. 

Anger. Fear. Despair. Heartbreak. Sadness. Pain. More anger. Vengeance. Hatred. Nostalgia. Confusion. Disgust. Exhaustion. Depression. Death. Injury.

We all understand and identify with these words.

I can't truly say anything original. There's nothing that hasn't already been spoken or written about this subject and done so more eloquently by someone much more introspective than me. I instead preferred to spend yesterday, THE day, mostly in silence, in reverence of the sheer magnitude of IT.  Thoughts churned and rolled over, steamrolling most of my New York Fashion Week musings. The events. My own mortality. What's happened since that day 13 years ago. What's to come. 

    We all generally, usually, feel something as an automatic response to hearing this date mentioned. For me, when the term "the eleventh" is utilized, in any capacity, in any sort of reference to any particular thing or person, my brain connects this, even if just at first, with the al-Qaeda terrorist attacks on the United States. In about a fourth of a second. If that.

    Consider the power of association. Yesterday, the 11th, is a designated day that we all grieve, mull over, cite as a reason to be thankful for what we do currently have, and most importantly, remember. Ah, yes. Everyone's "remembering." But, come on. Who are we all kidding? We all remember. Those of us who had reached an age, state, or point where we could form memories, at least. We may not all have understood at how how these events and how this date would shape our lives moving forward. We couldn't have. We don't  and won't forget. 

    The future was uncertain, but most of us couldn't deny the fact that our country, the world, and history for that matter, would never be the same as they had been one day before on September 10th. This would go down, September 11th, as the day that the United States had been attacked on its own soil by individuals, supposedly human beings, who were active in a terrorist group by the name of al-Qaeda.

Plane. Crash. World Trade Center north tower hit. Confusion. World Trade Center south tower hit. Allegations. Weapons. Pentagon hit. Fires. Smoke billowing. Iconic images. Burning. The frantic voices of on-scene news reporters. Flight 93 rebels. Fighting. Crash into Pennsylvania farmland. Planes are Weapons. Failed attack. Screaming. More images. Falling. Crashing. Ash. Smoke. Rubble. Screaming. Another. Falling. Crashing. Running. Firemen. Sirens. Policemen. Mob scene. Digging. Crying. Missing posters. More digging. Sirens. Digging. Digging. Crying. 

American flags. 

    And, those aren't even the memories from first-hand accounts here in New York City. I can't really explore this in any more detail. There isn't a reason, really. I wasn't here. I didn't smell it, hear it, and see it. I didn't feel the ash on my skin. I didn't run. It's painful, and there is far more to that day than I could ever research, write about, explain, and quote here. I have no desire to, in fact. That's not the aim for this rambling post that I'm currently writing. But, I do reside here. I'm a resident of New York City. I have been for quite some time now. And, I can tell you that New York has an entirely unique perspective. If you weren't here, you will, no matter what, have a very different, almost diluted version of what you've read, seen, and heard. It was different here. It still is different here. That's an understatement. Although this city and its people are resilient, we've changed. But also, strengthened. A common empathy exists here. There's an unspoken bond, a kindness, a softening of the edges. A knowing wink and a handshake.

The 11th. 
That was THE day. 

    THE day our lives changed forever. Everyone's. Every human being that is walking around right now and every single human being who will be born into this world. On this 13th anniversary of that very day, just like every anniversary, New York City talks a little softer. A little slower. Walks a little more patiently. Screams a little less. Honks a little more sparingly.

Today, though, is the 12th. 
The day AFTER. 

When discussing this "event," this national tragedy, I think it's appropriate to say that the day AFTER is equally if not more important to "NEVER FORGET."

September 12th: 
THE day to "ALWAYS REMEMBER," is what I'm beginning to believe in.

    The number "12," although not typically associated with the attacks, seems to be even more necessary for us to hold onto. It's the day AFTER, and although the dust was settling, we were here. We may have been beaten up, bloody & dusty, and fucking mad as hell, miserable as hell, confused as hell,  devastated as hell, and everything in between.

On the 12th, though, the day that follows the 11th, we stood united. United people joined together by our sheer humanity. We all felt something then and there, wherever our feet were planted.

The unthinkable occurred to the unsinkable, or so many of us assumed. Or hoped. 

But, faced with our own mortality, this nation, which had been brought to its knees on the 11th, stood up on the 12th.

Injured but not broken beyond repair. Fouled but not defeated. 
This is to you, 12. 
1+2 never looked quite so regal. 


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