Saturday, September 11, 2010
What To Remember, What To Forget
The idea, originally, was to get all in it today. Being that it's September 11 and all, and being that September 11 -- Giuliani Day here in NYC -- is now celebrated by insane, tragically misinformed caucasians as a national hate holiday and festival-style celebration of victory over tolerance and sophistication and insight. It's also the day I met my wife, and a day that changed my life and many other lives in many other ways. I light a Yahrzeit candle every year, and I did it again this year. The idea I had, and there was a part of me that was even looking forward to it, was to write about where I and everyone else found ourselves this anniversary, write about remembering and forgetting and all that. But I didn't go that route, as you can tell by the fact that the end of this post is in sight on your screen right now.
No, I took the day off. I took some stuff to donate to Goodwill and I bought a weird mirror at a street sale. I watched the Mets and some tennis and I went to a friends house and made dinner, got tomato sauce on myself, allowed myself to be pretentious. I did some late-summer Saturday things, basically.
There's a lot to write about, and a lot that I'd like to write about, but I finally just decided to exclude from my celebration of this de facto holiday the monster squad of sourdough-faced Staten Islanders and brute, mean-faced oldsters cheering John Bolton's walrusian sadism and Andrew Breitbart's via-satellite fuming. I haven't even looked for reports on that Glenn Beck/Palin live hate show in Alaska. I switched off. I drank some beers and ate and made jokes and listened to jokes and listened to music. I guess I saw the people who spend all their time Remembering as hard as they can about 9/11 -- all these weird unreal non-lessons and new fear-curdled bafflements -- and I realized that what they're remembering didn't actually happen, to me or to anyone else. And that what I remember is something that maybe I'd like to keep away from them, and that I'd like to keep them away from my memories.
This is an important day, for me and everyone else who was around here when it happened. Too important to fetishize, too important to cheapen, certainly too important to lie about and exploit -- doesn't mean people won't do it, people being people and all, but it's too big for that. It's too important to leave to the monsters, in that sense, but also too sacred to me -- I almost wrote "hallowed" -- for me to feel okay spending it thinking about those monsters who would make it something it shouldn't be, something far more akin to what the original monsters who perpetrated the act hped for. I suppose today was like a holiday for the ghoulish anti-Muslim protest fucks, too, but as much as I hate what they're doing I finally decided to spend this one differently. Except for now, of course. But I spent it in my own goofy process of life, rather than observing some sour, multiply wrong festival of death. And of course isn't that brave of me. But what else are you supposed to do? The world doesn't stop, for lies or truths or things big or small. It didn't then, and it shouldn't now. You remember, sure. But then you look ahead of you, and you walk.