Monday, September 12, 2011


There are two events in my life that have left me feeling haunted.

One:  Titanic (the movie)
Two:  9/11

Two completely different experiences but the same feeling comes over me when I think of either one.

I can't explain why I feel so haunted by Titanic but I swear to you, I had goosebumps through the entire movie, sobbed like a baby for most of the movie, and was left with a sense that I may have drowned on that ship in a former life.  I can see visions from that movie in my head right now as vividly as if I was watching it on TV.  That movie haunted me and I've never been able to watch Titanic again.    I have never been able to read a story about it or see a exhibit on it without feeling totally haunted by the story.   It's like nothing I have ever felt before.  Have you ever felt that way or am I totally crazy?  Not the drowning on the Titanic part but the part where you've felt like you have been in a situation before but it is impossible because it happened a long, long time ago. 

I also used to think the little old lady that owned our former home before us used to watch me work in the yard and then, on a day when all my rose bushes were in bloom, she disappeared. I'm not kidding.  The sense of her watching me simply wasn't there any more.   Imagine my surprise when I found out she died before we bought the home.  I know.  Weird.

9/11 is the other haunting event that left a lasting impression.   I wasn't going to post about it on the actual date because I often feel sick to my stomach and can't put together coherent thoughts.   I'm actually surprised I'm writing about it now...but not surprised that I feel haunted as I write the words.

Like everyone, I remember where I was on 9/11/2001.  I was teaching at a middle school.  Just as I pulled in to the school parking lot, the first plane hit the towers and the story was instantly all over the radio.  I sat, completely stunned and listened to the reports about the second plane.  I decided I would run into the building to watch the rest and hear the reports.  Only I had forgotten that it was a brand new school and most of our technology was still left undone.
  No cable.  No internet.  No radio reception. 
  The rest of the day was very surreal.  All I knew was this terrible tragedy had occurred, I had to teach school, coach a volleyball match, and I felt completely cut off from the rest of the world.  I called Kate and Eric when there were breaks between classes for the latest news but had after a few hours I couldn't take another report.
 It was 11PM before I finally SAW any footage. 

I totally freaked out and  I have never watched another minute of footage after that night.   The images I can recall are vivid and painful.  So much pain.  In 2006, Eric and I visited the Twin Towers memorial site in New York.  I just remember feeling silent inside, despite all construction noises going on around us, as we looked into a cement hole in the ground.  It was the eeriest feeling I have ever had.

I'll never watch Titanic again in my life.  I'll never watch footage of the towers again in my life.
Two completely different experiences that left lasting impressions on me.
For reasons I will never be able to explain.

1 comment:

  1. It's amazing how vividly we can all recall 9/11. Well...accept for my students who were in THIRD GRADE when it happened. Yikes! And Titanic haunted me too...drowning is one of my biggest fears.


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