A decade has passed since that awful day on September 11, 2001. In terms of your memory, that’s a long time. The major moments tend to stick, but the bits and pieces of it all flitter away into the mind, gone from most purposeful thought.
What it leaves, though, is a filtered version of the things that mattered that day — and the days after. Those moments and emotions that have stuck have become my defining view of that day’s events.
I am prone to disappearing. I find ways to sequester myself from the world, whether driving alone when I could take the train or locking my doors on the weekend and emerging again only when it’s time for work. I am, and have always been, a solitary creature. That’s not to suggest to don’t love people. In fact (and surprisingly), I have a great passion of them.
Many times, I just find all of the emotion to much to handle. I get overloaded with expectations, with disappointments, with joys. To survive, I need solitude to recharge and reboot.
In those terrible hours and days and weeks after 9/11, I remember not wanting that solitude. I remember looking around at the faces in the offices of Wired.com, professionals who were trying to find a way to make our stories make a difference from 3,000 miles away, and wanting to stay with everyone. On that awful day, people lingered about, not wanting to go home. I ended up sitting in a bar with my editor, one with whom I had a terrible relationship, and just processing through what we had seen. There were few words. Just silent drinking.