September 11th, 2002


September 11: This is not your pain.

Frankly, I've been something of a basket case today, looking for a spectacle where there is none. I look for signs, but less than half the people have their headlights on, and most seem not to remember.

I watch the coverage even though I'm sickened by its mawkish sentimentality. Like the Morning X crew interviewing a bereaved father... guys, stick to interviewing Triumph the Insult Dog. The only thing that I want to see, horrid as it sounds, is a tape of the coverage last year. I missed most of it as it happened, and as horrible as it is, I never want to forget that day, for those who forget the past are determined to repeat it. I figure I'm going to burn in hell for even thinking this, but don't show me sicky-sweet Lisa Beamer one more time. She freaks me out... but who's to say I wouldn't be the same?

And just as I felt last year, when I looked for the grief counselors and instead found people quietly studying as if it were just another day, and finally found the counselor and burst into tears in her arms as I sputtered "I don't even know anyone there." A voice in my head keeps telling me I have no right to feel this way. It tells me again and again, This is not your pain.

I just looked at and it's remarkable to me how I still feel the same in so many ways. It's happening again in my head.

I was driving and saw a church that had a sign announcing its sanctuary was open today for prayer. I crept in. I was the only one there. I prayed silently. I say this not to gain your approval or convince you I'm a good person, because I'm not. It just felt like something I ought to do for some reason.

The voice will not shut up. This is not your pain. And why not?
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