My reference point for the bombings in Boston has primarily been my roommate. She was at the marathon. On Monday one of my coworkers said “…there were apparently explosions at the marathon” and I texted her asking if she was okay; I tried calling but the lines were down. She texted back–she was okay, she and her boyfriend were at a bar when it happened, but she was scared. She wanted to get home but couldn’t.
Different people here in Boston have had different responses. I think for the most part I am on the milder end of the trauma spectrum. I worry about my roommate, who still seems rattled after a few days have passed; I got scared on the train, on Tuesday, when it was delayed a few minutes; today I called my mom, just to hear her voice, to be reassured of something.
And like everyone else I have been moved by the love we show in this hard and guarded city–we want to help each other. We are nice to each other. We are notoriously rude to each other on public transportation but now for a few days we are not so rude. The bus driver told me “thank you” when I tapped my card to pay.
I am trying to identify my pervasive feeling(s). Like I said I worry most about my roommate. She believed in a certain kind of safety, and then that was shattered for her.
It is/was also painful to have to wonder about my loved ones, speculate if they were harmed. I texted several people asking if they were okay. My brain ran through possibilities of these people being hurt, in a way that was not illogical. It sucked to have to run through those hypotheticals, to have to imagine the worst. In that way it was very real.
I am also so angry at the person who did this. I want to celebrate the people who are good/have done good in this nightmare, of course, but I also want to avoid trying to make meaning out of this. There is not meaning. This is not okay. Whoever did this, whatever dude decided to ruin this happy day, where people were cheering, and kids showed up, and the sun was out, and it was this beautiful day and the city was excited… fuck you so hard. I don’t understand the desire to hurt people viciously. I hope this person has a special place in hell. They should not have done that. It was wrong. It seems somehow dishonest to bypass that. I hope they find him. I hope he is punished.
I know I make a big to do about relationships, relating to other people and understanding them . But I feel strongly we should not reconcile this. I want to talk about how this is not okay.
With my whole heart I believe most people are good. With my whole heart I also believe there are people in the world who are not.
I mentioned earlier in this post that I called my mom. It was this afternoon, when the sun was out and it was 65 degrees and I was walking to Dunkin Donuts to get an iced coffee. It is hard to explain the way we talked to each other. Nobody cried and nobody was very viscerally emotional. We talk to each other in such a way that we both have this understanding that the world is not safe, has never been safe when we thought it was. We had put our faith in very different things, and it is/was a source of conflict between us; still, we had put our faith in something and then it got broken, so I think we share that. We went through my dad being sick together; we came out different and sadder people. I tell her, “I read the other day that safety is not a condition found in nature” and she understands. I don’t know what there is to say, how to make meaning out of things. Like I said I don’t think we are supposed to be making meaning out of these things. I do wish right now she was next to me. When I sit with her I hear her stomach growling, these quieter and low disruptive noises. I put my faith, sometimes, in how much I love her.