Thursday, April 16, 2009


I own a lot of stuff. The other day, when I scavenged my bedroom for anything that I owned in 2001, a very small amount of stuff turned up. I’ve moved at least four times since that year (and my parents have moved twice), so maybe it shouldn’t be so surprising. There must be more at my parents new house, but the following is all that remains in my current possession:

Photo album, containing pictures from 1998 / middle school
Sony Discman
The “What is your gender aptitude?” test from summer camp
Felt, a zine I contributed to at summer camp
My Nikon SLR, given to me that year by my aunt
My old wire-frame glasses
Parcel green cassette tape wallet
A jewelry box
Brown knit scarf
Langston Hughes short stories
Photograph dated December 8th, 2001

Of all these things, the only one with a constant presence in my life is the scarf- anyone who knows me might recognize that I wear it almost every day in the winter.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

2001 and me.

What's the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of the year 2001?

The first thing that comes to mind is "...a space odyssey," a movie which I've never seen except for the chimp scene, although I know enough to know the rest of the movie bears a pretty small resemblance to the "real" 2001. The second thing that comes to mind, not surprisingly, is September 11th. To be honest, although the events rattled me deeply and set our country into a complete tailspin, the actual physical events of 9/11 were far removed from my life, as they were from most of our lives. Like watching a movie. You know, like Kubrick. It was not until later that we all became very wrapped up in a sort of 9/11 identity, as the wars happened, as the media ran out of control. But very few of us ever came close to touching 9/11. Feeing 9/11. Breathing it.

What I'm trying to say, I guess, is that 2001 means a lot more than a very real tragedy and a very fake Hollywood movie, yet the year oscillates in between those two identities in my mind.

In 2001, I was fifteen going on sixteen. It's the iconic American age, am I right? I had my first kiss and went to summer camp and learned how to drive. Without sounding full of it, I was a pretty smart and level headed. I was prolific and had a strong sense of what I wanted out of life. None of these things describe the years that followed; somehow I got off track. I think back to 2001 often, and I wonder what exactly changed inside myself.

But I can point out a few things that changed, outside. Thanks to the abject failures of the Bush administration, we now have Obama. Thanks to Mark Zuckerberg, we now have Facebook. The economy started sliding and a lot of people lost their jobs all over the country, including my dad for a while. Reagan died. So did Ol Dirty Bastard. And my Grandma.

This is my proposal: to live like its 2001 again. I don't quite know what that means, yet, but this blog will document my journeys to investigate and re-live and celebrate all that existed in 2001, and all that has happened since. This blog will include interviews, essays, maybe guest essays, memoirs, photographs, relics, relics and more relics. Contact me if you would like to contribute.

Does this mean Bush is in office, again? Will I succeed in not texting? Should I go back to dial-up? AOL?!?