Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Memorial of Little Importance

It happens like clockwork. I wake up at 5:45 am, restless, and, in the haze of agitation from the sleepless night before, I get ready for the day in the same fashion I did seven years ago. I do this until I come to the realization that I am no longer in that place and time. I no longer have the same apartment, girlfriend, job, or hands, for that matter.

I try to go back to sleep but my mind and body have already begun the forward motion of reliving the past with such incredible inertia that it would be a lie to close my eyes again. And so, I lie awake. Try to count things. How many ceiling tiles I have, the number of times I’ve blinked over the course of a minute, my heartbeat.

I try to prioritize my day, but even this simple task becomes a futile exercise of past events. Because there is no slipping quietly out of bed so as not to wake Erin, no taking Miles for his morning walk, no eggs and coffee that tastes like Christmas, no grabbing my bag, or checking that I have transit passes in my wallet before gently closing an orange apartment door. There is no call to my cell phone while on the R7 asking if I’m ok, no bus ride from Trenton to Princeton because all trains are being held without explanation, no watching the passengers smiling in ignorance. No watching the second tower fall on a small television in the McCarter green room, no watching the man jump before.

And tonight I wont stay at the Holiday Inn with the only two cast-mates that made it out of New York.

All that is gone now.

I try to act as if nothing is wrong.
I think about calling people I care about.
I think about calling the people I was with seven years ago.
But I realize that too much time has passed.
And that not enough time has passed.

I watched the news this morning instead. MSNBC was playing their newsreel congruent with today’s time. As if it were happening all over again. The clock on my VCR and that of the one on television in grotesque and compliant harmony. Today was the first time I have ever seen all the day’s events play out as they happened seven years ago. I hadn’t the heart or stomach to until now.

It has become a blur that I remember with inexorable lucidity.

It is the only memory that I watch over my shoulder rather than through my own eyes.