Discolor Online

Weblog of the sweetest person you never want to piss off.


Nine Eleven

2001 was a year of stress, soul-searching, and transition for me. I'd been a homeowner for less than a year and was planning my second wedding to take place across the country at a place I'd never even visited. I'd made two heart-wrenching and somewhat emotionally traumatic job shifts between February and September. The Hasbro buyout of Wizards of the Coast had caused a lot of upheaval in Chris's office where there had been a large layoff right before Christmas 2000 and another in May 2001. Morale was so bad the Hasbro home office was having teleconferences to put the company "on fun alert" in an effort to reassure demoralized employees who worried (rightly, it turned out) that more waves of layoffs were going to hit. We'd had an earthquake in February but it was the emotional aftershocks that reverberated through my life that year.

By the second week of September my little girl had started Kindergarten and my Massachusetts wedding was two weeks away. My job stresses were behind me and I was delving into full-time work on Green Ronin, done with summer convention travel and with plenty of time before Christmas season releases. I woke up the morning of September 11 between 6:30am and 6:45am Seattle time and went into the office to check my e-mail for last minute wedding-related communications from my mother-in-law to be. AOL's splash page was a photograph of the burning towers. I remember running into the other room and saying "Oh my god, Chris, turn on the tv. New York's been bombed!" I choke up even thinking of it now, the fear for our New York friends, the fear of everything then unknown, the disbelief, the futile hope, the sorrow for the victims.

I do not pretend that my west coast fear and grief is at all comparable to anyone more directly affected by the events of the day. Even so, I can no longer separate my feelings about the tragedy from the rest of the stress and anxiety and general upheaval of that year. My wedding was overshadowed by the resulting national feeling of anxiety, underscored by having to travel through the very airport that the hijackers departed from. My memories of my daughter's Kindergarten days are intertwined with memories of school district evacuation plan memos and anthrax scares.

Six years gone, approaching my happy sixth anniversary, sending my contented daughter off to start middle school, I still dread the anniversary of 9/11. I dread it now for the perversion it's become. I dread it for the relentless way it's tied to the debacle in Iraq, right down to the entirely non-coincidental timing of Gen. Petraeus' political theater before Congress today. I dread it because it breaks my heart to remember all worldwide goodwill we squandered, because it marks the moment our country lost so much more than we thought we did.

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