I found a lot of people quoting Martin Luther King Jr. in their Facebook and Twitter status yesterday. "I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy."
Fuck that. They are entitled, but I didn't respond, and I certainly didn't repost. As I set out to write this, I checked to make sure that I had the quote right, and it turns out it's an altered version of what King actually said. Fine. Its inaccuracy doesn't change the sentiment that many wanted to share - that despite the Evil of this Cunt of a man and his followers, they could not celebrate his murder. Fine, don't. I on the other hand am happy he is dead, I'm ecstatic that he was shot in the eye, and I'm hoping that the last thing that went through his head besides that bullet is the realization that The United States of America got him.
He put us all through our own hell that day.
I woke up that morning to the sound of the phone ringing, and Caller ID told me it was my father. Because he lived in Manhattan and I was 2 hours behind in Chicago, I was quite angry and indignant that he would choose to call me so early in the morning. I let the machine take the call and then heard him say that one of the towers had been taken down. I didn't believe what I was hearing so I interrupted the message he was still leaving, and picked up the phone to tell him he was full of shit. He told me to turn on the TV. And I was just in time to see that second tower go. My brain didn't allow me to register that what I was watching was live, that it wasn't a replay of the first tower, that we were in fact under attack. My country. My friends. My family.
My first drive home opened a new wound. Yes, I used to drive from Chicago to NYC and back. I'm a huge Road Tripper and even lived out of a car for two years, but that's a story for another time. It was a long ass drive, but every time I saw the Skyline, I knew I was almost home. Seeing the skyline without my towers was indescribable. Won't even try.
While home I was able to chat with my dad's girlfriend, and she told me something that has haunted me. By this point in time, people were in some way of knowing who in their lives had made it and who had not. Even if they didn't know their friend's friends that well, by this point they knew which of them were OK. But during the course of a day there are people you come across who you don't know, but who are still a part of your routine. Maybe you never speak to them, but you know their faces.
They wait for the same bus or train as you everyday.
They are in your bodega almost as often as you are.
They are at the gym during roughly the same days and hours you are there. And some of them are gone now. You haven't seen them since early September, and you don't have their name, their phone number, or anyone to ask about their whereabouts.
Why isn't that tall guy using this train anymore? Has he changed jobs?
Why isn't that blond girl using this bodega anymore? Did she move?
Why isn't that really buff guy at the gym anymore? Has he fallen out of his workout routine right now? Or was he at The Towers that day? Each person missing from your daily routine becomes an unanswerable mystery and another fucking reminder.
So I don't care if you are or aren't celebrating Bin Laden's death. Do what you feel is right For You. I am rejoicing. I'm hoping his death caused him pain and suffering, and I hope those who cared for him are forever broken hearted. No disrepect to the late and Great Dr. King.
"Begin thus from the first act, and proceed; and, in conclusion, at the ill which thou hast done, be troubled, and rejoice for the good." Pythagoras