Today was a sunny day when I woke up. Warmish, but sunny, with very little traffic going into work because it was Patriots Day. I lamented having to work while others didn’t. I live streamed bits and pieces of the Boston Marathon from my desk at work, and was lucky enough to see the first place man and woman cross the finish line. Some of my friends were in the city watching the race, having drinks, or just working. Mid-afternoon, I stepped out for coffee and a quick errand, and when I came back, the word was getting around my office about what had happened in Boston.
Two explosions. Two bombs. People injured, possibly dead. People losing arms and legs, people burned from the blast. The city on lockdown, the transit system paralyzed and police telling people to avoid crowds and go home. I sat, numb at my desk. I couldn’t cry. I didn’t want everyone to see and think I was being melodramatic. I scoured Facebook for news of my friends. Sent texts and received them from others outside of the area, hoping Dan and I were safe. I had friends two miles from the blast who were, thank goodness, safe and sound and eventually managed to get out.
The third explosion at the Jefferson Library was a shock. Dan tells me it might have been unrelated, but it essentially snapped me. That, and all the photos coming off like mad on Twitter. There was so much blood staining the sidewalk that I got nauseas looking at it. I couldn’t believe this place, where I always felt so safe and happy, had fallen victim to all of this. I checked on as many people in the office as I could, making sure their friends and families were okay. Luckily, nobody reported any injuries or worse.
I waited until I walked out the door at five before giving in to the sobs. Convulsing, choked-sounding, horrible things. I cried all the way home, listening to the coverage on the radio. I didn’t want to — I just couldn’t turn it off. I was so worried something else might happen. When I got home, Dan just let me cry and lie in bed for a while, and then he helped me make dinner and even split a cupcake with me. I have always said, with my issues with anxiety, that it’s hard enough to get out of bed on a normal day. I don’t watch the news. Ever, if I can avoid it. It still scares me. I have an irrational fear of low flying planes due to 9/11. We used to go to NYC regularly when I was a child. Now, if I make it once a year, it’s something. The Newtown attack took place in a town that neighbors my hometown. And now this.
Dan tells me I can’t try and understand why, because there is no why. He tells me I can’t hide out, refuse to go to the city because I’m afraid, because that is what “they” want. Who are they? Why would they do this to innocent people who just wanted to take a run on a sunny day? I will try to fight against my terror at all this and be strong enough to return to the city. But I am so afraid. I don’t want to be, but I am.