September 11, 2001

o-AMERICAN-FLAG-facebookI was waiting in line at the Hopkins Post Office, absentmindedly watching the idiot box someone put up there in the corner, to make us forget about time.

We watched the news reports apathetically at first. We had nothing better to do. Then the first plane hit. Then the second. And then everybody forgot why they were at the post office. Baltimore went nuts. The country went nuts. As did many of our friends.

Our friend Darin died that day. A plane (a fucking plane!) crashed into his office. He was so young. And the sweet memory of his wedding day was still so fresh.

An antisemitic conspiracy theorist once told me that all the Jews who worked in the buildings targeted for destruction received a phone call on the morning of September 11th warning them to stay away from work: “That’s why there were no Jewish causalities, John. Not one.” I wanted to punch him. But all I could think about was how sad it was:

to be standing here in the same suit, in the same synagogue. I kept looking around and thinking: Darin and Devora were married here, right here, just six months ago. The groom’s barber had been a little overzealous but the bride’s dress was divine.

We were just about to leave for the funeral when Anna-Liisa decided to take another pregnancy test. It came back positive. That was Tristan. Our firstborn. What a strange funeral that was:

to be so elated, and yet so sad, at one and the same time. Could swear I heard King David singing softly in the temple that day: “You turned my mourning into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy.”

—John Faithful Hamer, The Myth of the Fuckbuddy (2017)

About John Faithful Hamer

John Faithful Hamer is a college professor who still can't swim, drive, or pay his bills on time. His sense of direction is notoriously unreliable, yet he'd love to tell you where to go. His lack of practical skills is astounding, and his inability to fix things is renowned, yet he'd love to tell you what to do. His mismanagement of time is legendary, as is his inability to remember appointments, yet he fancies himself a philosopher and would love to tell you how to live. He wouldn't survive in a state of nature, of that we can be sure; but he's doing quite well in the big city, which has always been a refuge for the ridiculous, a haven for the helpless, and a friend to the frivolous.

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