One September eleventh,
Two thousand and one,
We could never forgive
Nor forget what was done.
Those two immense towers
Standing so high
Now grounded in rubble,
So far from the sky.
Truth be told, I can’t remember the rest of the poem I wrote. I wrote it on the one-year anniversary of 9/11. I jotted it down for a class and handed it in, but at least that much of it sounds in my mind, on occasion.
It’s a haunting day, isn’t it?
But it haunts me all the more because I didn’t understand. I was in second period French class. I went to the nurse’s office for a low blood sugar, and remained there, battling the low, all morning. The nurse, Mrs. Frankle, drove me nothing short of crazy, and that’s most of what I remember from that morning.
Why didn’t I cry? Why wasn’t I scared? Why didn’t I understand that there were people in those towers when those planes hit them? Why didn’t I understand that there were people on those planes? Why didn’t I understand that one person could want to kill another? Why didn’t I know that people in this world hated us? Why? Why? Why?
And, the burning question, why am I still so emotionless when it comes to that day?
They say people with autism lack empathy. And they say we don’t, that we actually feel so immensely, that we can’t process emotions and thus come off like we don’t feel anything.
Me, well, I’m usually on the first side of that fence… but with things like this, I wonder if I’m not on the other side. Perhaps the reason I feel so little with respect to September eleventh is actually that I feel so much.
As I look back, I can mark that day as the end of my childhood, though.
All those questions, all those whys, were answered.
New words came into my understanding… words like “kill” and “terrorism” and “hate.” At thirteen, I should have already known what those words meant… my classmates did… but, as you probably know by now, I was different.
The memories sit in my mind heavily. I cannot separate the annoyance at the school nurse with the fear of being in a huge, new school with the taste of the apple juice with the confusion I felt at the attacks. The gravity of one does not erase the strength of the others. Why do I feel like it should?