I find myself in New York City, which makes an always surreal day – September 11 – even more surreal. A 16th anniversary of an event is hardly a notable one – though someone born then can now drive, which is wild – but with each passing year we move away from 2001, it feels more and more like that was literally a different world. Our world is fucked up in a lot of ways right now, but nothing compares to that day.
I was taken back when I saw this tweet
earlier today from the University of Michigan’s account. I was just a few days into my sophomore year when I woke up to frantic calls from my mother. To be fair, many of the calls from my mother are frantic. But these kept coming, over and over and over again. I turned on the TV…
I had actually been in NYC a few weeks prior on a last-second trip with friends before the school year started. We literally had a conversation of whether or not we should go to the observation deck of the World Trade Center, but opted against it because “we can always do that later”.
A few weeks later, the “later” option was removed. The Twin Towers were inverted, becoming open wounds in the chest of America with all of us watching, live. Some of us on television, some of us here, in person.
It was absolutely terrifying. And yet, it was one of those events so unspeakably awful that it bonded people together, quickly. Thousands of students, from different backgrounds, from different countries, descended upon the heart of campus, almost as one living, breathing organism.
It will never not be weird and surreal to think back upon it.
And that’s now 2-for-2 in terms of Happy Hour newsletters that are decidedly sad. Won’t make a habit of it. Aside: happy birthday to my sister.