This has been quite the week. As most of you know, I live in Boston and have so for the past seven years. I have come to consider this my home. I have lived here almost as long as I lived in the house I grew up in, and will probably end up living here for a while. I love it here.
So when two asshats (if that’s all there actually was) decided to set off two bombs during the marathon – well, I took it hard. I was lucky that no one I know was hurt. Everyone came out unscathed, even those that were near the finish line. I was at home when it happened, curled up on my couch with the cat, awaking from a nap and getting ready to catch up on some reading. Instead I spent that afternoon texting every single person I knew making sure we were all ok. We were.
My office is a block and a half away from the finish line, so we were closed Monday and Tuesday, but Wednesday we opened. I spent two days staring out my boss’s window, looking down at the growing memorial outside our building on the corner of our street, which was still blocked off for investigation. The experience has been surreal and stressful and down right frustrating because I wanted, nay needed, it to be over.
This morning I woke up with a spring in my step. I had slept soundly through the night, and woke up before my alarm went off at 5am. I was to drive to the north shore to meet with a store later that morning and was looking forward to the distraction. I dressed in my gym clothes and as I headed out the door, checked my Facebook. I was bombarded with post after post about the MIT officer being shot and killed, about one of the suspects being shot dead, and about how the second suspect was at large. I saw the words WATERTOWN MA and freaked out. My sister lives there
I got her on the phone as I drove to the gym at 5:15am. She had slept through the entire thing but was now wide awake and freaked out. We hung up with the promise to talk later. By the time I settled into my run at the gym, the towns surrounding me were locked down, the MBTA was no longer running. I found myself running and texting every friend I had in those towns, begging them to stay safe and take care of themselves. I finished my run and pushed myself through my weight routine when I suddenly realized that I was physically in a locked down town. I left and rushed home.
Along the way I met a delivery man, parked in my parking lot, looking forlorn and lost. His company refused to stop deliveries for the week and he was there to drop off restaurant supplies to a place that seemed to be closed. You could tell he was stressed – he started asking me, a complete stranger, what he should do. I told him to tell his bosses he was done for the day and to get home. He told me he was meeting his first grandson that day. I told him to forget work and get to his grandson. That was more important. He wished me luck and we parted ways.
By the time I got home, Jason was awake and glued to the TV. One station had added Brookline to the lock down list. My office has sent out an alert that we were closed. My boss called and we discussed what I should do – do I still go to the north shore or should I stay home? My emotions were running high and I couldn’t seem to make a decision. I received dozens of texts from friends (and coworkers), begging me to cancel my meeting and stay home.
As soon as the entire city went into lock down mode, I called and canceled my meeting. Strangely, the man who answered the phone seemed to be oblivious to what was happening down here. I tried to explain, but he didn’t seem to be paying attention, so I said my apologies and hung up. I showered and stared at the TV for a while. I called my best friend in CT and we talked for an hour – mostly about anything BUT the situation and I felt better. I have been sitting on the couch reading or answering emails, trying to distract myself, as the news runs on in the background.
Out my window, the traffic in Brookline is lighter than normal, but there are still people walking around. I can smell the smells of restaurants, so obviously the restaurant owners are ignoring the BPD’s pleas for people to stay home and stay closed. I can hear shouting and laughter outside – from people sitting on their balconies, seemingly unaware that a terrorist is on the loose and possibly nearby. I can’t understand how I can be sitting here, scared and anxious and worried while they knock back a beer. Jason and I have discussed leaving and heading to Rhode Island, but neither of us want to move from our safe haven.
I should note, the cat is blissfully aware of everything going on and is snoring on the couch beside me, as she has for most of the day. What I wouldn’t give to be a cat.
I know my friends and family are safe (I am in constant contact with my sister and she is scared but fine). I know that the chances of this man hurting one of my friends is slim, but I can’t help but be scared and stressed and worried. My BFF suggested earlier that I try writing an update on my weight loss journey as a distraction, but I can’t focus on something that feels so trivial. I found myself logging my food into My Fitness Pal at lunch and was embarrassed that I seemed to feel it was important to do when there is so much going on.
This post has been a ramble, I know, but it’s all I can do to stop myself from freaking out. I can’t wait until this is all over. I want to feel safe in my city again. I want to be able to walk through Copley Square and get my Boloco and not think about the three people that lost their lives. About the people that lost their limbs. I want to stop wondering if I would have run into the crowd and helped the injured. I want to get on with normalcy again.
Stay safe my friends. I love you all and am thinking about all of you.