Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Tell Me Why I Don't Like Mondays Tuesdays...

(Orginally published in 2006. Remember when I could write like this? I published this, and then I decided I didn't want the fabled "them" to know me anymore, and I took it down.

It's a long story. Lots of little things led up to that point.

Sept. 11, 2006 was the day I started to cover up, the day that writing crossed over from cathartic expression into something to be feared because it was bringing me pain and confusion. I still continued, and continue to this day, but I don't get personal like this anymore. At least, not in public. It was a helluva box to put myself in, and I haven't been the same since.

Maybe I can get over that someday and get back to writing with fearless abandon. I don't know. I don't know if I want to anymore. Some things have cut too deep. But I am going to republish this today, and that's a start.)

I especially don't like Mondays Tuesdays that are dark, dreary, and carry with them a significant anniversary.

It's going to be awhile before I can get through any birthday, holiday or occasion such as this without having that grief that is always just below the surface come rising up again.

Since we all are reminiscing about 2001, here's my 9-11 story.

You see, I would give anything to go back to five six years ago today, as strange as that may sound. Five Six years ago, Scott, Kristin and Marybeth were still alive. They were there to talk to about all of this, although I think Kristin was in rehab (I honestly don't remember if I talked to her that day or not- I think I did), Marybeth in New Jersey was frantically searching for friends of hers, some of which ended up dying in the towers, but my best friend Scottie was here. Scott would always be here for me. He promised.

Scott was the first person I talked to when I got home from work that day. We didn't have a TV at work, so I had to listen to the radio, a live NBC news feed, as events unfolded. As I walked in the door that afternoon, the phone was ringing. He knew what time I got home, to the minute.

I flipped on the TV and saw for the first time what I could only picture in my imagination all day. Scott was talking to me, but I barely heard what he said as I tried to make my mind comprehend that this was really happening, this wasn't special effects in a movie.

I do remember this next part, and I will for the rest of my life. He said to me, "I suppose we are going to go kill a bunch of people over this, right?" and, "Who wants to live in a world like this?"

And it flew right by my head as I stood in shock, watching the TV.

It was a clue, a moment passing, a missed opportunity which I would come to regret a few months later.

The odd thing is, sometimes I'm glad that Scott didn't live to see the next few years unfold. He was a sweet, sensitive soul that couldn't bare to see people in pain- and a whole lotta pain was to follow. The Iraq War would have devastated him, I believe. As it was, I think 9/11 was part of the catalyst that took him away. It was an excuse to fit all the reasons for despair.

I know there is probably nothing I could have done, and if it wasn't 9/11 it was going to be something else. BUT, there is always that feeling that I could have changed something had I caught that one moment.

As it is, I can trace the loss of my job to this day- the phones literally stopped ringing, which led to pay cuts, layoffs, my work load increasing. When the business slowly came back, the boss still used the downturn that followed 9/11 as reason to never give raises, never take some of the pressure off of me, doing the job of three people. He just kept cutting, although we had gotten busy again. It led to the blow-up four years later when I left. I can trace it all back to 9/11. That day changed the direction of the company, and therefore my life.

But I don't really care about that.

Today, I think of Scott. I wish he were here to talk me out of this feeling. He always could.

Marybeth, who herself died in Oct. 2005, once said to me, "Someday you will think of them and be comforted."

She never told me how long that would take.

Yeah, this is all a bit self-centered considering the tragedy of that day, but I feel better when I write stuff like this. It is my blog, after all.

(See how defensive that last line was?

I still miss my friends. There are times when it really rears up and bites me in the ass, usually on holidays, but I think Marybeth was right. The painful memories do fade, the good ones rise unbidden. I have found this is especially true with Kristin lately; there are times I can see her smile, hear her laugh, I remember the fun we had when things were good. But sometimes those memories move me to pure grief and tears, too, when I think of what I lost.

Maybe it never ends.

Sept. 11, 2001, at 8:46 am was the moment all of our lives changed forever. For me, it symbolically marked the start of the downward spiral that continues to this day.

Yesterday I went back to my old company, praying they would give me a job, knowing that if they do, they probably will make me crazy again. They might have an opening, I will find out more next week. Getting back to working with art sounds so very appealing right now.

At least I still have hope. It's about all I have left.)