9/11. Where were you?
(I was in the living room, in the pitch black, watching CNN and seeing patches of orange and yellow I didn’t quite understand.
I was at my fifth birthday party, listening to my dad talking about his narrow escape from deployment.
I was still in Bamberg, blissfully unaware that I’d started my sophomore year of high school–)
I was in bio lab, reading Mercedes Lackey, and the voice on the PA started talking about a plane crashing into a building in New York. Someone turned on the news. Nobody ever bothered to turn it off again.
(–I was on the bus, in the dark of an October afternoon, and sobbing for no reason.
I was on stage, revelling in the opportunity to shine, when my vision went grey and green and I felt like I might throw up. Again. And it was all my fault, but I didn’t know what I was doing.
I was in a hundred different planes, all plunging to the earth, except that I kept waking up before we hit.
I was in Washington, D.C., a week or two before the war, and I knew exactly what was coming. I’d known it for a year and a half. Everything old is new again. Then I was screaming for mercy on a flight home, reduced to an animal, running on instinct.)
I was with my man and we spent the day rambling at each other, saying what needed saying about the last ten years. Even if we were the only ones around to listen, it got said, and we meant every word. But of course we are only foreigners, even with our U.S. passports, and it’s unpatriotic not to light ASCII candles on Facebook or post YouTube clips of jingo-laden country music. Then he took me home, because I am still learning how far I can stray from my safe places. Perhaps today was not the right day to try. But I tried.
He’s just a peacenik,
And she’s just a war-hawk.
That’s where the beach was,
That’s where the sea.
What could we say? We’re only 25 years old,
And history seems to agree that I would fight you for me,
That us would fight them for we.
Is that how it always will be?