I received this letter about a month ago, and ignored it because I thought it was a fake letter. I am not certain of the writer's identity; but apparently, s/he is not the only one who has taken creative license with their whereabouts on 9/11. I am printing this letter for its relevance, and because it shows honest remorse. --T.K.
I have told a lie that is beyond shameful, and I don't know how to worm my way out of it. On the anniversary of 9/11, I got caught up in the moment and wanted to share in the intense feelings of those who had experienced it first hand; so I lied about my whereabouts on that fateful day.
I used to live in the Tri-State area, so I was pretty close to the front lines when those planes crashed into the Twin Towers, but I was not there as I told people I was. I had taken a personal day from work because I was tired after staying up past midnight to watch the Giants-Broncos game on Monday Night Football. Fast forward ten years, and I have since moved away; to a different area of the country where nobody knows me, and I feel like an outsider. I just wanted to feel like someone with something special to offer; so I told people that I escaped from the Twin Towers that day.
Of course, everyone now looks at me like a local celebrity, and they all have questions of what it was like. Like a fool, I answered them; spinning tales of the destruction as I saw it occur on television and as I pictured it must have been like on the inside. With each retelling, the details get more and more graphic - I feel like I actually was there that day, as I should have been. My popularity has soared, but my conscience is dragging me back down to earth. How do I come clean about my lie[s]? Is it even possible at this point? A part of me wishes I could pick up and move far, far away and start over with an honest, clean slate; but that is not possible at this time. What should I do, little cat?
Not A Survivor
Dear Not a Survivor:
When I first read your letter, I thought that it had to be a joke. I never thought someone would have the chutzpah to lie about such a sacred and tragic event, until I saw a news article about another who also lied about being in the Twin Towers that day (at least I hope it's another, or I just outed you in a column with a world-wide readership!). If you would like, you can use this opportunity to come clean before your story is discovered to be false, too.
Will it be easy to tell people that you lied? No. Will you be harshly judged? No harsher than you are already judging yourself. Will it take courage to step forward and share the truth with those to whom you have woven your lies? Absolutely. However, telling the truth is the right thing to do - it may bring shame to you; but in the end, it may also restore your honor.
If you feel that you simply cannot come forward with the truth, than at least stop spreading lies! If people ask about your experiences on 9/11, simply tell them that you have said all that you have to say on the matter - and then follow through by keeping your mouth shut, so no more lies can fly out of it!
Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.