Some things you don’t forget.
“Did you have classes on September 11?”
“When were you supposed to be in at school?”
“I wanted to be there at 12:00.”
“What day was September 11?”
“Did they cancel classes?”
Some things you can’t remember.
I can’t remember if I tried to call any of my friends to see if they were okay.
I can’t remember if I tried to call anyone, for that matter.
I can’t remember who called me or tried to call me.
I can’t remember whether anyone who tried to call would have been able to reach me, anyway.
I can’t remember when I finally turned off the TV.
I can’t remember when they let us back below 14th Street.
I can’t remember when I finally let myself go below Houston Street.
Some things you wish were not even a dream.
(with apologies to Aaron Sorkin)
Even as I charged ahead towards a new future in my trips to Boston and DC, in my visits with old high school and college friends I was reminded of an altogether different past—a past in which I envisioned something completely different than the path I now find myself following, a future characterized by Fourier transforms and Smith charts. Delighted as regions of my brain probably last exercised in college sprang back into action talking shop with Amanda and John the electrical engineers and Angela the computer engineer, I nonetheless felt wistful at leaving all of that behind. At the same time, in Donna the teacher, and in other classmates and friends who went onto separate careers, I found some reassurance.
Technology never stopped exciting me. Math and physics still excite me. But are they enough to make me want to wake up in the morning?
Only if I can directly help someone by doing it.
I’ll just have to find some way to be an EE-doc, I guess.
[As I troll through my digital archives, piecing together memories of Scott for a brain that often fails to remember the more mundane details of life (it’s those details that I think not only help provide context to what actually does matter, but also trigger memories that might be otherwise buried unreachable in my subconscious), I find things that I think are worth remembering. I hope no one minds me sharing them.]
If you asked me nowadays, I would tell you that, despite the tragedy of a certain day, I wouldn’t trade my college years in New York for anything. If nothing else, they clarified my love of the city (a term which, by the way, can only refer to one place) and left me with many fond memories–of people, places, and things, and a siren-like call to return.
Continue reading “it wasn’t always love.”