Excerpts | Spotlight

First 9/11

This essay was written by Stephanie Dinkmeyer in Chloe Caldwell’s 12-Month Essay Collection Generator

Raised in a psychological tradition tracing back to Sigmund Freud, Stephanie learned that your first memory is a blueprint for your life. You remember it because it was important. It is important because you remember it.

A first-of-its-kind collection, Do You Remember? A Collection of Firsts explores the ways in which our first times tell us who we are, who we might become, and most strikingly, who we’ve always been. In this millennial riff on Joe Brainards I Remember, Stephanie interrogates panic attacks, Finland, abortion, space flight, and a complicated relationship with water. Through precise and stunning prose, she asks curious and intrepid questions about childhood, home, grief, and the power of fear, all while inspiring readers to ask themselves, “What do I remember?”

The following essay, First 9/11, is excerpted from the collection.


is that bad?

Is that bad?

Pearl Harbor

Hanson: An Unauthorized Biographynuh-uhme



s all the same music.

is that bad?Pearl HarborArmageddonTwisterDeep ImpactThe Perfect StormTitanic

Pearl Harbor

s, stay a sweet girl, and long disconnected phone numbers. By the end, there was no mention of 9/11. It was just a sea of thirteen-year-olds. I was there in braces, an awkward haircut, and uneven eyebrows, smiling in black and white.