The tale of the tape, so to speak, is in my livejournal. Here are my entries for 9/11/01. (And the next few days are filled with more reactions.)
The thing I find most interesting, looking back on this eight years later, is the sudden and abrupt change from what passes from normality (from the entry posted at 1:30 AM PDT) to the total shock six hours later. I’d later describe it that month as a discontinuity — where the graph suddenly jumps, leaving a gap in the line. And that’s really what it was to me. New York is far away from California, so, other than a few close calls, my only real connection with the incident was either friends of friends or a fellow alum of UC Berkeley showing his courage in helping to yank a plane from the sky somewhere near Pittsburgh.
So, in some ways, I feel like it’s not my anniversary to memorialize. It was a bad thing, definitely. It caused a discontinuity on the graph of our lives. But, in the end, except in grand scales that I barely comprehend, it didn’t touch me. Between that and the way things have played out in the intervening years, it’s lead me to that awkward position.
I suppose it’s a moment like the Kennedy assassination, when, as Peter Gabriel put it so well in his song “Family Snapshot”, “Peak time viewing blown in a flash/ as I burn into your memory cells.” If you’re old enough to remember 9/11, you know exactly the creeping moment when you first saw those pictures and realized that there was a discontinuity in your personal timeline and you will probably never forget it again.
And that’s about all I have to say about that. I’ll go hang the flag before I go to the Social Security office today, though.