Category Archives: Unfunny!
Today is the 10th anniversary of the September 11th, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center.
I’ve always been a little baffled by the insistence that we “Never forget!” the 9/11 attacks. Personally, I would like to forget. If possible, I would also like to forget the time I witnessed a motorcycle accident. In fact, my list of “Never Forgets” — and your list, too, probably — does not include any (!) of the most traumatic, horrifying events in memory. We tend to want to forget those things.
We hire therapists to forget those things.
In any case, while I believe it is perfectly acceptable (and perhaps clinically advisable) to forget the horrific nature of that day, I often use these anniversaries to review my state of mind and perspective during that supersaturated day of confusion, fear, and sadness.
Below is a poem I wrote on the night of 9/11. My goal was to write about the irrationality of what I had just seen using hyper-rational, mathematical language. It was the only way to begin to wrap my mind around what we now refer to as The Events.
Two Minus Two / by Zach Sparer / Sept. 11, 2001 To explain humanity or the [lack] thereof We need not an equation. Viscous eyes aim themselves skyward Several sturdy symbols stand tangent Awaiting their next proudest moment Like invincible soldiers before battle. They will stand until x = infinity; Only the unthinkable could intersect The glory of these tremendous twins. A whole number. Simply. Two. Ninety Degree angles Flying like angels Ninety Degrees But not exactly right angles Since they were minutes apart Something was off. Some thing was Awful Ruins. Aged 2000 years In a few hours. The proud soldiers now stand Parallel to the soil.
WARNING: This post is nothing close to what you’ve come to expect from Faux Outrage. It’s not (supposed to be) funny. It’s not wacky, whimsical, or [some other descriptive word that begins with "w"]. Most importantly: it’s not true. I don’t know if you want to call it fiction or poetry or what, but whatever it is, it’s a deviation from the norm. So there. You’ve been warned. Enjoy!
I didn’t even know they made a 6:35 in the morning.
And yet, here we are, together, standing like statues in the sunlight, half-sleeping on the corner of Fifth and Maryland.
What a coincidence that we have the same goal: to leave Point A in the dust, to say goodbye to all of that. To leave everything behind except for the clothes on our back. To forget the past. Point A is a memory, already fading. Embrace the future! We have so much to look forward to. Think of Point B. Our Vatican! Our Jerusalem! Our Mecca! Our Mount Olympus! We will be there soon, standing high atop Point B, our giddy yelps unapologetically echoing throughout the distant valley below.
Without notice or regard, you suddenly yawn widely, wildly, sharp teeth blaring like a new set of speakers.
Like baseball fans doing the wave around a stadium in summertime, your yawn floats thoughtlessly from one soul to the next.
We are tired, our mouths agape in unison.
We are one.
We look shocked, to be honest, but I am certainly not.
We are a team, you and I.
We are yawn buddies, kindred spirits.
We are bus brothers of the morning.
We are anxious soldiers waiting to be deployed.
We are one!
And yet, for some reason you are far too enveloped in your ink-smudged copy of the Tribune to recognize this fact.
I want to rip the newspaper from your fumbling hands and set it on fire.
I am here!
It is 6:40 now and I swear there is dew collecting on my shoulders. This is the kind of theory that I would confirm if I weren’t so groggy and apparently glued to this rusted celery stalk of a lamp post. If You See Something, Say Something! an official-looking sign pleads vaguely.
“I see you’re reading the newspaper!”
“Yeah.” you say, still staring into the black and white void.
You didn’t even look up.
What happened to our plan?
I close my eyes and brace for a cool breeze that never arrives. Only the sporadic and unnatural gusts brought on by the Civics and Camrys and Corollas slicing through the silence placate my senses.