September 11th from Spain


In fall of 2001, Molly Beer was in Spain, studying to become an ESL teacher and trying her hardest to win over the non-Americans who populated her program. Then September 11 happened, and everything changed.

In an essay for Vela called “That Spanish September,” Beer writes about what it was like to experience that day as a girl from New York, an ocean away from her home:

“Well, America had it coming,” one of my flatmates said.

“It’s America’s problem,” said another.

No one argued with either point.

Lauren O'Neal is an MFA student at San Francisco State University. Her writing has appeared in publications like Slate, The New Inquiry, and The Hairpin. You can follow her on Twitter at @laureneoneal. More from this author →