Apparently, a lot of people do. When I saw this Washington Post article (via Gala Darling) about a psychiatrist working in New York after the worst terrorist attack on American soil, I wanted to smack a liar.
Because I remember that day pretty well, it having been 14 years ago and me going into it thinking it would be a regular Tuesday. I was in eighth grade. When the first plane hit, I was walking from first period (art) to second period (something way less fun than art). When the second plane hit, I was in that less-fun class. We found out over the loudspeaker during fourth period. Some kids were called down to the office—I think because their parents came to pick them up. I don’t remember any parents of kids in my school dying, but it was possible; we were an hour and change outside of New York City and five minutes from a North East Corridor train station.
I didn’t understand what had happened until I got home and saw the footage on the news. It was everywhere. Everything had been preempted. I don’t think I cried, but I remember not being able to stop watching.
Later, I remembered that I’d been inside the World Trade Center. It was on my birthday two years prior, my first trip into the city. My parents were taking me to see a show—Beauty and The Beast with Andrea McArdle as Belle. My dad drove us down to the financial district and we got up to the 70-somethingeth floor, the one that was where you got off of one elevator to get on the one to take you to the viewing platform. The line was too long, so we went back down and drove uptown to Times Square, instead.
That was my 9/11. Except…there’s this one thing. I have this idea in my head that I could see the smoke from the burning towers from a window in my parents’ bedroom. But that window in that bedroom wasn’t in the house we were living in during 2001. Obviously, that’s a lie.
For the first time in 14 years, I’m curious enough about that idea of smoke through a window to figure out what I’m remembering. Maybe it was this, a massive apartment fire in Edgewater? There were a lot of fires and explosions in New Jersey in the two years that we lived in that house. Edgewater was 70 miles away. The flames were 200 feet high. That seems possibly plausible. August 31, 2000. Hm.
I’m curious now. If you’re feeling brave enough to admit you falsify your experiences, or curious enough to wonder if your memories are true, tell me what you think you remember. Comments are down there.