Today is September 11. Tomorrow is September 12.
The first date makes you pause. Tense up. Remember and feel bad, vaguely heavy and where were you? Last week I noticed that my milk was due to expire on September 11. It took me a second, but then that date looked strange stamped all nonchalantly on a gallon of milk like that.
I know you see it too. Maybe not on your milk but on your cheese perhaps, all of our Facebook feeds full of when our worlds stopped 14 years ago today. Never forget. So we don't. Can't. Because forgetting would be somehow rude to those that died, their families, though I don't know that they care. I am pretty sure that when I die I will want to be remembered for how I lived, celebrated for my life and not for the way I died.
I am strangely afraid of how you will read that, but I stand by it. Instead of the day-long zeitgeist of sadness and vague fear, what if every September 11 we eat kale salad with warm panko-crusted goat cheese, drink Slurpees, watch reality tv, gossip, debate politics, embarrass our children by dancing stupid in living rooms across this great nation of ours? What if we turn the day into a celebration of each of those 2,977 Americans who died, into a celebration of us all? Because fuck terrorists. They don't get to have every September 11 forever and ever, amen.
September 12. Apparently my milk will be sour by tomorrow. It is also the 2 year anniversary of my mom's death. Zoey has her first soccer game. When I got the soccer schedule I looked at the date thinking wait, I have something else to do that day. And then I remembered. Of course. September 12.
But do I? Have something else to do? What do I do? Such a strange thing to commemorate, a death day. I feel guilty not spending the day mourning my mom, remembering her, creating some sort of ceremony out of her death as a way to control the uncontrollable. This day two years ago. Where were you?
I think we can all agree that cancer is a terrorist, and conversely that terrorists are a cancer. They took September 11, 2001, and for me, September 12, 2013. But what if we took back those days in the future? I mean, if Bin Laden were still alive and on Facebook, I'm pretty sure he would love the fact that our feeds are full of images of the planes crashing into the towers. Fuck that. Fuck Bin Laden. Fuck cancer. Let's fill up our feeds with American mundanity: pictures of sunsets and stories of period panties, videos of Jimmy Fallon's lip sync battles. Tomorrow I am going to Zoey's soccer game. I will bring snacks and a blanket to sit on. Afterward we might get fro-yo. We might not. Then the next day will be September 13. And I will still love and miss my mom.
Happy this day to you, and tomorrow, too.