What comes to your mind when you hear the phrase ‘nine-eleven? But before I even get any further, I must confess my perspective on nine eleven is a historic one. I bet you’ve heard this somewhere in a movie or documentary perhaps. If you were curious enough you’d inquire into what it means. Well if you are familiar with it then you will concur it invokes scenes. Scenes not so pleasant. Scenes that unfolded in the full glare of the cameras in broad daylight and as their on curtains fell on that era of innocence that was once characteristic of the free world a new era was ushered in. One that would usher in a new household name, Osama bin laden, and even the most recent one that has made memes, Taliban. Well, the nexus between the three is a long story that I can’t put down in one sitting. Historians and commentators could finally settle on one word to describe the events of that rueful day ‘Terror”.
The scenes go like this: Planes like specters vanishing into iron and steel, glass splinters and shrapnel flying all over from the impact of the collusion terrified men and women jumping from the 93 storey World trade centre twin towers to certain death rather than the slow painful agony of being burnt alive, firefighters rushing to the scene while others flee, ash covered figures running aimlessly in the streets of New York and finally both the northern and southern towers crumbling into themselves. Well, it’s beyond my skill to capture the events of this day, especially given the fact that mine is based on second-hand narration. At the close of business, that day up to 3000 men and women lay dead. For those who witnessed the scenes first-hand or even those who watched on live television, some events are stark depending on which side of the aisle you stand for someone phrase will never be forgotten. It is the phrase from a frail but resolute George bush” Today freedom was attacked and freedom will defend itself.”
One thing that still awes many to date is the fragility of civilization. I mean just how did it take 12 men of Arabic assent armed only with boxcutters to flatten such epitomes of architecture. Well, the conundrum posed by the events of that day may never be solved. Now that I have your attention allow me to introduce a plot twist, well my interest even wasn’t nine-eleven (9/11,ninth-September) my interest is on what happened 12 days later. If you are keen enough you’ll notice that brings us exactly to a day such as today. Well, that’s two decades ago. Word has it that it was on this day my small figures trutted forth from my mother’s womb. Well, your basic geography also tells you that on this day the sun is overhead the equator, Well I can only imagine what a hot day that was. So as the world marked two decades since curtains fell on that age of innocence before 9/11 12 days later-which is today -I share in the same disposition.
Today I turn twenty and as I slowly turn the pages of this photo album I occasionally pause to admire. As I turn every page It feels as though it is a slideshow from an old movie whose plot I can’t recall well but one that seems familiar I wish I could time travel, not to right any wrongs but because I long for them days. Days when I knew nothing about tolerance and I would just speak my mind oblivious of whether I was hurting someone’s feelings. Those days before tolerance lowered my bars to the bare minimum. These photos only tell me of a point and time when I was plump ok so I wasn’t born skinny after all. Days when I dreamt without fear that one day I’d be a pilot before grades put me where I rightfully belonged. They were the days before reality and dreams and people and places conspired. Days when I’d rock in timberlands and feel like the fashion guru. But that wast hen. A chapter closed and done. I find it easy to write about then although I feel nostalgic.
If you were to ask me to write a sequel about now, well I’m sorry I just can’t. But I can as well fumble some words. If I were to describe this point and time I’d say it’s a blind spot or even a mirage. It’s like a mirage that tends to make things seem near when they are not. There is no certainty in seeing nor is there proof that what you see is actually there. It’s a highway with many blinding lights. A time that calls for maturity. A time where good grades, good company, and even a good personality and all those trappings that can spell ‘It won’t happen to me’, slowly ebb away. It is a time where one experiences an identity crisis and it’s easier to become the very thing you never thought you would be. Anyways I could rant about my anxieties for an entire day but today is not for such. Happy birthday to me.