9.11.2008

I remember

I remember where I was. I remember the office closing early, and the staff of a dying dot-com play going home to “be with their loved ones.” I remember sitting on the beach, noticing that no planes were flying, no boats were moving, and the bay was essentially dead. I remember riding my bike to work the next day with an American flag jutting out of my big blue Camelbak. I remember watching the concert for New York, and crying when Billy Joel played.

I hate Billy Joel.

I remember launching my business that fall, with an overflowing cup of optimism on August 11 and some serious concerns 60 days later. I remember choosing a business name that was decidedly optimistic and deliberately vague. I remember telling an old friend in the business that I was planning to start my own communications firm, and I remember him taking off his glasses and rubbing the bridge of his nose.

I remember a flood of consultants hitting the trade show circuits with new business cards, made-up titles and bubble-fueled big thinking. I remember my goal of signing one client a month. I remember going to an office with no clients and an empty email box. I remember looking at Monster.com every single day.

I remember entertaining one serious job idea from Southern California. I remember flying out and meeting with Orange County Realtors. I remember driving on a 12 lane highway to check out some more affordable options. I remember coming home a few weeks later, sitting at the kitchen table, and my wife telling me she was pregnant.

I remember going to SIA to network, and getting nowhere. I remember Hixson asking me point blank “what ARE you doing here?” I remember having dinner at a martini bar that night and the conversation shifting to a possible invasion of Iraq. I remember Geraci saying “show me the proof.” I remember me disagreeing.

I remember saying that if you don’t live on the East Coast, you don’t get it. I remember saying that by being closer to the tragedy, my own attitudes toward projection of military force had changed. I remember sincerely believing that a government by the people, even one I hadn’t voted for, would still act in the best way for the people.

I remember two years of checking the mailbox, and instantly depositing whatever might be there. I remember having the conversation that we might need to sell the house.

I remember Colin Powell testifying to the United Nations. I remember reading Joe Wilson’s letter in the New York Times. I remember wondering why anybody at the Pentagon would talk to Seymour Hersh. I remember Thomas Friedman doing a full 180 on the war. I remember meeting new people every day who said they had been anti-war from the beginning. I remember meeting one woman who said she was a hawk.

I remember wondering what was going to happen next. I remember wondering what might have happened had Al Gore fought harder. I remember giving money for the first time to presidential election campaigns. I remember Howard Dean's scream. I remember John Kerry getting the nod because he was more "electable."

I remember hoping that in four years, something would finally give.

3 comments:

  1. Drew. Left me speechless. Nice work.

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  3. Brendan6:40 PM

    I remember witnessing ashen zombies shuffling up seventh avenue, midtown, tired and shocked after a three mile walk, not fully comprehending what had happened and what will happen next. As far removed as I felt from lower Manhattan, the smoke and fighter planes above produced a sense of siege. I remember the phones working for an hour or so and the accounts from the scene that brought the scope of the tragedy into focus all too quickly, then as it played out on TV, we plot the way off the island and home. I remember recognizing a childhood friend being interviewed on NBC in front of Lehman Brothers and seeing the first tower crumble behind her to a terrified howl of shock and confusion. In the months afterward, I remember wiping tears away every morning on the train making the way into the city, reading the NY Times and the obituaries of each valuable and important soul that was lost. I remember being angry. I remember flying to Jackson Hole one year later, in defiance, but still a bit on edge for the flight. In the runup to Iraq, I remember at a business lunch, of all places, saying I couldn't believe it but I agree with France, we have no basis to take on Iraq. Do you remember Mission Accomplished? nuff said....

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