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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Looking Back on 9/11

Today marks a day that will live in infamy for our country.

I'm not going to bother getting into conspiracy theories, what went wrong with how it was handled after the fact or any other debatable nonsense that will get the blogpshere in an uproar.

I merely want to share my experience.

Before I took up blogging I kept a journal. I used that journal and excerpts from my blog to pursue a book deal on the story of my life as a stay-at-home dad. My bubble was burst when several publishers refused to even publish anything that mentioned the events of September 11th. Other literary agents told me men didn't want to read about parenting so I'd better tailor it to my feminine readership. But I wanted to be a dadvocate, I wanted to write a book for men and for men who might considered being the primary caregiver or for those fathers who wanted some insight into the life of a man raising kids.

Of course, I am stubborn and decided not to take their advice.

So I remain unpublished.

In June of 2001 I unceremoniously lost my job. I spent the summer navigating the nether world that is the Employment Security Commission in this state while coming to terms with what would be my new job: Stay-at-home dad.

What follows in an outtake from my journals at the time...

September 12, 2001: Yesterday two planes flew into the World Trade Center in NYC. By the end of the day both buildings had collapsed to the ground.

Total fucking madness.

I was driving with my son in the car when I heard the first report over the radio and immediately you could sense from the reporter that all hell was breaking loose in New York. So I drove home and turned on the television. I don’t think I left the room for hours. I just sat there and stared at the TV dismayed at what I was seeing. At some point my sister called. She is an attorney who lives in Cleveland. She called me because she knew I’d be home. We were talking on the phone when the first building went down. There was not much to talk about after that so we got off the phone.

After awhile it was just too much for me to take so I went in the other room where I my son was and got down on the floor with him to finished watching the block programming for kids on PBS.

What kind of world am I’m bringing this child into? It was all just too much: a jobless father with a baby in a world going to hell in a hand basket.