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Friday, April 19, 2013


Everyone is celebrating tonight.

Elated that the 19-year-old 2nd suspect in the Boston Marathon Bombings has been captured and that he’s alive.

But I don’t know. I just feel heavy-hearted.

Having a day off of work on Monday felt like a great, little gift, as we’re ramping up for our annual fundraiser and I have a 6-day-work week next week. So I slept late and got up to clean and do laundry and was getting ready to leave my house to go shopping downtown when I saw a tweet about Boston.

There were barely any details posted at that point, though I did quickly discover that explosions had occurred at the finish line of the Boston marathon.

Messages, texts, and tweets poured in the rest of the day, and I came to learn that everyone I knew was somehow safe, some by the skin of their teeth, some because they had straight dumb luck.

Everyone seemed to have stories of very close calls.

I spent most of Monday afternoon sitting in front of the news, clutching my phone, shocked that this has had happened here. Violated and stunned that the square I walk through twice a day on my route to and from work had become a “killing zone.”

This was way too close to home.

This was home.

I was disheartened to see that by the end of the day, Twitter had seemed to forget about Boston. And I was even more upset at myself for thinking, “Oh, I’ve already seen this footage,” after viewing the same harrowing scenes over and over on the news.

This was the definition of desensitization.

I was surprised that work was open the very next day and braced myself to field tons of questions from all the little inquisitive minds I encounter at work, but we were all strangely reticent about Monday.

Like we didn’t want to think about it. And if the kids didn’t ask any questions (and even if they did), we weren’t going to press it. 

By Thursday morning, and the news of an (unrelated) death in my circle, I was overwhelmed and angry. Uncertain that I’d make it through another day of pasting on a smile and pushing through whatever confusion and anger I was feeling.

It turns out we were all operating under a tenuous sense of hope because we woke up this morning to a totally different city.

After checking my phone as soon as I woke up (before 7:30 all this week because of April vacation hours at work), I jumped out of bed to watch the news with my roommate.

Men in bomb suits were detonating bombs near the Park and a suspect was on the loose.

Boston was on lockdown, residents were urged to stay barricaded in their houses.

The story unfolded slowly over the course of a very strange day.

15 hours later, after a stand-off in Watertown and the suspect taken into custody after being on the run for 28 hours, I have peeled myself away from the TV to reflect in silence.

It feels like the world will never be the same.

9/11 happened in my hometown when I had already lived across the country for 4 years, and watching NYC pick up the pieces from so far away was difficult and impressive.

Boston is my adopted home, and its resilience and spirit and feeling of community have been astounding.

I feel proud of all of the acts of kindness and bravery that were performed all week.

But I also feel like I have truly lost my innocence. Explaining the situation this morning to my mother, using terms like “IED strapped to his chest,” “homemade bombs thrown out of the car,” “dead suspect run over by his brother,” I said as much to her.

I couldn’t believe I was saying such phrases with moderate emotion.

And besides that, when everyone sees a terrorist, I can’t help but see a boy.

A boy who had such a good reputation with his friends and coworkers and colleagues that all we heard all day was how shocked everyone is that he was the man on the run. A boy who ended up bleeding and hiding in a boat in a Watertown backyard.

I know only he has the answers to some of our terrorized city’s questions, and I know that him being taken alive means we might get them.

But I can’t celebrate tonight.

I’m too tired.

And the world feels way too big and bad right now.

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