because I felt compelled.

this morning, I woke up and started doing my thing. it wasn't until I was driving into work that I realized it was 9/11. and, as I had in the past 2 years or so, I didn't really give it alot of thought. as the day progressed, I forgot about it. nothing about the day was different. but I had to drive home around lunchtime and while I was in the car, there was a block of songs on a local radio station that were a tribute to the victims of 9/11. in between songs, there were brief snippets of accounts of the day. so I listened. and I found myself getting emotional and getting goosebumps.

that day, that block of time - weeks? months? - after that day, I do have to remind myself to remember. it feels like a long time ago. there are plenty of things that happened around the same time that I have no trouble recalling. I don't know why remembering this takes a tribute from a radio station. so I feel like I want to put this out there today.

my friend tracey emailed a distribution list at cdnow, where we worked. a plane hit the WTC. I figured like a prop plane, something small. then people started going into the caf, where we had tvs. seeing everything, it was horrible. being at work, it was numbing. my sister was stuck in orlando and planes weren't flying. it was the only help I felt like I could give to a horrible situation. so I went about it with gusto. I got her and her family onto a train the next day to get back to philadelphia. you had to call over and over to get through on a cell phone. that was all I was able to do, and when I was done, I went back to feeling totally useless. everyone wanted to help - we gave supplies and shirts and water, almost none of which made it to where it needed to go and little of which were ultimately used. we had vigils and prayer meetings and we all came together like a family. political cartoons showed lady liberty crying. I listened to the local news radio station constantly, listening to stories and news. I cried alot. I helped trent understand. it consumed me for a long time.

I cried the next year, when compilations of stories and footage were released.

I felt sadness the next year after that, when those compilations were re-released.

this year, I forgot.

when I do remember, I remember how sad everyone was, how sorrowful the situation was. and how horrifying. women shouting at tv cameras to ask if anyone had seen their husbands, their daughters, their sons, or their friends. the compilation movie that pointed out that the thuds you were hearing during the footage of firefighters in the lobby were actually bodies hitting metal and concrete from people who felt it was better to jump than to burn. the people in rural PA, and washington, who were overshadowed but still hurting just as much. the mothers whose children were being cared for and now were gone. the firefighters and volunteers who were trying so hard to find survivors who weren't there.

maybe that's why we can forget, maybe the reality of the situation is too hard to hold onto for very long. there are people whose lives were touched personally by 9/11 that will never forget, and I'm sure that there are others who for whatever reason will never forget, but I will forget.

I just have to remember to remember.


oh, and the foot fetishist

double post day...

I have to tell you about my run in with the aggressive foot fetishist, here in words for posterity. picture it, south philly, 2008. (RIP estelle.) I left a party at todd and theresa's at about 3:35 to go to my car to go home. I get to 4th and queen and a dude asks me for the time. so I give it to him and start to cross the street. he follows me and catches up and kind of jumps in my way and says "I didn't know it was that late". I keep walking. he kind of tugs on my arm and asks me if I ever heard that if a woman's second toe is bigger than her big toe, it's a sign of intelligence. now, the way he's talking to me, I thought there was something wrong with him. like, he was shifty and looking down and kind of rocking back and forth a little. so I just said that was interesting and started walking again. I only took a step or so when he tugged my arm again. that's when the alarm bells really started ringing. we were all the way across the street now, out of the street light, in front of an alley. so then he asks me if I was leaving a club, or a party, or what. I said I was leaving a party and again started to walk away. a more urgent tug, more of a firm one, and he asked if I really thought the toe thing was interesting, and wasn't I glad that I knew that now? it was something I didn't know before that, right? then he reaches down and strokes my second toe, saying "and I saw you have a toe ring and..." which is when I couldn't really concentrate. then he grabbed my foot. and it wasn't for an extremely long period of time, but it was a firm grip, and I looked at that alley, and I realized I was off balance, and I was just scared shitless. I thought, oh my god, I'm going to be...foot raped? whatever, this dude's gonna whip it out and chop my foot off for a souvenir. I had my keys in my hand and put the points in my knuckles, but here's where the instinct diverges between men and women, I think. all the dudes asked me why I didn't sock him or just tell him to leave me the fuck alone. and here's what they didn't understand - if a dude starts fondling me, I'm not going to provoke him. I piss him off, I may take him to the next level. like, if he was only thinking of chopping my foot off, now he's gonna. or if he already planned to be violent, now it's gonna be worse. and if I punch him in the face but only manage a glancing blow, he's going to be pissed no matter what his intentions were. so I pulled my foot away, and he started following me again, but I was not stopping. I wasn't running, I didn't want to piss him off, and he was yelling after me stuff about did I leave the party because no one would tickle my feet, and was it because I hated it? (which, that was creepy too because wouldn't you want to know if it were because I really wanted to be tickled? it just kinda reinforces the idea that he wanted to do something against my will.) anyways, as soon as I was out of reach, I got my cell phone out (it was in my back pocket but I didn't pull it out because I didn't want him to potentially grab it out of my hands) and called jon and asked him to meet me at my car. and my voice was shaking alot by then. so he calls me a few minutes later, when I was crouched down in my car, and asked what happened. as I was telling him, I see todd run up the other side of the street. so I beep my horn and get out, and here comes nadav at full speed. and then jon and lester. calvary. they looked for the dude (late 30s, 40s, bleached jeans, white reeboks, yellow fake silk button down shirt, brillo hair. basically john oates from hall and oates without the mustache) and then made me call the cops. I gave that description over the phone and they said they'd send someone out, which after almost a half hour, they didn't.

so there I am, with 4 guys that came to my rescue, and now I have to tell them that what got me so freaked out was...a foot fetishist. an aggressive foot fetishist. I am actually giggling now as I write it. I mean, at the time, it was scary as hell, but now, I mean...a foot fetishist? who the hell does that happen to?? what are the fucking chances???? the guys were so nice about it though. I would have probably laughed at me. and they probably did when they left. oh well, what are you gonna do?

but now I know how intelligent I am. I mean, my second toe is totally longer than my big toe. so thank you, john oates foot dude, for showing me the way.

it. is. almost. FALL.

it's pretty much no secret that the last couple years of my life have been rife with me having mental issues or being afraid to have mental issues. I can't always tell what is making me feel the way I do, but I know one thing that nearly always makes me feel better. fall. autumn. between uncomfortable summer and dreary winter.

lots of people love fall and for alot of the same reasons - cool weather, changing leaves, good smells, coziness - but I think my main reason is new possibilities. most people, I think, feel this in the spring, when stuff starts growing. and not necessarily in the fall, when stuff starts dying. I think it goes back to the clean slate feeling I always got when a new school year started. and I guess it's stuck with me.

of course, fall contains my favorite holiday. it's so amazing to me that bella's birthday, without planning, fell on halloween. it's just another indication to me that I am done having kids. it's like the lottery - I may have told this story so I'll keep it brief. a few things happened during a workday that all had the same number, 111. I had to make the court runs for work and I passed by a convenience store, and my coworker urged me to buy a ticket. I did (asking for 111 "straight and boxed" as I had heard others doing, heh) and put the ticket in my pocket. the next day, my coworker greeted me saying "I can't believe it, you won!!!!" apparently 111 had come up the previous day. and I never played again. what a way to go out, you know? same with the game washers. I haven't played since I got a washer around the bolt in the can in the box. perfect throw. it's not that I'm superstitious or just lazy or anything. it's just that those moments are so good, I feel no need to top them. so bella is like that too. I already know I don't want more kids and what a way to go out, you know?

in other news, things continue along the same lines in other areas of my life but I'm ready for a change. mostly in attitude but hopefully more - with the fall clean slate.