Tuesday, April 23, 2013

the ripples of a tragedy

I first came to Boston when I was in middle school for a field trip. I fell in love with the streets that seemed to start and end with no warning. The tall buildings that weren’t to tall to strain my neck while I stared up at them.

When I was 15 I came back to visit and knew it would be my future home. I rode the sprawling commuter rail and wandered the frozen streets daydreaming of making it home.

I came back when I was 19 and started making a life for myself. My knuckles were bloodied with how hard I pounded out my new life. Boston isn’t an easy city to get started in, but I was determined.

I’ve lived all over Boston. I lived in someone’s living room on the floor for 3 months just to get my foot in the door. At night I’d go up to the roof and have a view of Fenway Park, lilt up with crowds cheering. I’d smoke cigarette after cigarette waiting for the urge to go back inside to come over me.

I left Boston for a couple of years, but I came back. The city always called me back.

The second job I ever had in Boston was at a spa, on Boylston Street. The spa was located at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. The week leading up to the marathon we’d sit at the window watching everyone set up. Scaffolding and bleachers unfolding and being erected.

I left the spa, and over the years the spa has moved farther down the street.

I’ve since worked at two other day spas and salons in the area. Leaving behind me a lot of close friends and acquaintances still working in the area.

I used to take my lunch and sit in the park in Copley Square. Throwing pieces of my sandwich to the birds.

I’ve always made it a habit of avoiding Boston on Marathon Monday. It can be a crowded and hard to get around if you aren’t there to watch the race, and I’m not one for race watching. Or crowds.

I had just walked into a client’s house when the news of explosions in Boston came on the tv. A tv that the clients never leave on, but happened to be on this particular day. I sat staring at the tv, finally knocking myself out of the stare I had fallen into.

I come home and tell Kh and her friend about it. We all sit on our phones, reloading and reloading any news page that’ll give us information on what’s going on. I don’t have cable.

I was truly in shock. Everything seemed like a bad dream floating by. Everyone I know was touched in some way by the tragic events; Boston’s a small city.

News comes about that a former co-worker of mine was caught in the explosion, as was her teenage daughter. Her daughter sustained injuries to her legs, while she lost both her legs from the knees down. Unreal.

The rest of the week everyone seemed to be holding their breathe. Waiting. Listening. Taking everything in and trying to make sense of it all.

Friday morning Kh woke me up before 8am to watch the news. A shoot out in Watertown. We see pictures of the end of Kh’s old street. All of the surrounding areas are put on lockdown. By 2pm we leave the house to get some errands and work done. The streets aren’t empty, but its scarce out.

Everything calms down by the end of Friday night, but the ripples of what happened on Monday can still be felt. Everyone’s on edge, relieved but still in shock. It’s all most people can talk about.

One of the victims lived in my town. Her memorial service took place at the funeral home down the street from my house. I saw the mourners lining the streets and the heavy police presence on Sunday.

It’s eerie for me to think about how close I could have been to all of the events that went down. I’m in awe at how quickly Boston stepped up to get justice. The entire city went on lockdown until the suspect was apprehended. While I still haven’t formed an opinion on how I feel about it all, I know I am disgusted in the evil that can exist within a person. It’s devastating to think about those in other regions of the world that suffer this form of injustice and brutality on a daily basis. It’s those horrors we are spared from daily that make it ever more shocking when incidents do happen.

I’ve been out of sorts lately. I’m working on getting back. I need a few days of something terrible not happening to really help with that.

Boston strong.



  1. Sending big hugs and positive thoughts your way - it's crazy how everyone even around the world seems connected by just a few degrees of separation.


  2. Big hugs and love!