Ten years ago, I was a sophomore in High School, in Spanish class. I felt sick to my stomach and went to the bathroom; when I got back, I was told my mom was there, to pack my stuff and go to the office.
“Are you okay?”
“Because the Twin Towers are on the ground!”
It was one of those moments that will be forever burned into my mind. It was the start of my panic attacks; it was the true start of anxiety that would never cease. It was a day I spent in the ER with my father’s mistress watching the footage in confusion, wondering what it would all mean. I remember sitting on the floor of my living room in the apartment, rocking back and forth, paralyzed at the thought of nuclear war. I remember panicking, thinking my then-boyfriend would get drafted. I remember not understanding how anyone could hate us this much.
I remember not being jaded about this country. I remember feeling like we really did our best, all the time, and that America helped everyone no matter what.
Ten years later, I feel like we try too hard to run the world. Ten years later, I’m still scared, and I remember what it’s like to have my friends from Egypt ask me what Americans think about Muslims, because they were afraid of what we would all think and say.
I remember Effie asking me how in God’s name I couldn’t be proud to be American.
I don’t care if you hate me for this post. I don’t care if you think I’m a terrible person and shouldn’t deserve the freedom that we have in this country. There are things happening here that many people choose to ignore, and if I choose to be nervous about the direction this country is going in as we allow government-sanctioned molestation to developmentally disabled children for the sake of “safety” while I recall that those who choose safety over freedom deserve neither, then that is what I will have to live with.
I don’t know how to feel right now, knowing that the person who was supposedly behind that day in September is dead. I’m sure that someone, somewhere, is crying because their lover/father/brother/friend has passed. I know that the things that he did were terrible, were evil – but I just can’t let myself to be the type of person to ever celebrate murder.
I’m scared because something will always come to fill a void. Now that he’s dead, what’s next?