Friday, April 19, 2013

This Week, This Day

I never really went to sleep last night. I heard sirens. More sirens. Something was wrong. I checked the news: a shooting at MIT. I texted JJ and B. My heart hurt. It was too much. This week was too much. All too much.

There were more sirens last night. And the whirring of helicopters flying low. Each time I woke up, I checked the news only to find a bizarre and brutal scenario unfolding. By 5am, I was wide awake and engaged. I waited for the rest of the world to wake up and to realize what had happened.

Today was unprecedented. It was the closest I expect to ever be to living in a state of military law. I didn't know how to spend my time. I overdosed on all forms of media... watching a live stream of CNN, refreshing Twitter, texting, watching Netflix, typing in a nearly 12 hour long Gchat conversation. None of it worked; none of it helped.

The "shelter in place" rule was lifted around 6pm. I took a shower and thought about what it would be like to go out. But then, an hour later -- something started to happen. The police identified the suspect's location and started to move in. I put my mascara on and put "Dirty Water" on repeat. I'm sure my neighbors got sick of the song, but I didn't have the heart to turn it off.

At the bar, we ordered beer and stared up at the TV. The news was slow to update and I refreshed Twitter constantly, hoping that it was just a matter of time and hoping that the suspect was still alive. Not dead or alive, only alive. Suddenly, I saw a tweet: "Suspect in custody." I turned to the other three and said: "Suspect in custody. They got him." A minute later, the headline flashed up on the TV. And, as we all predicted, the bar broke out in applause.  Every bar in Boston must have been filled with the sound of applause.

I walked home tonight. For April, it's a balmy night. I'm wearing shorts and flip flops and I stopped to buy an ice cream bar. The street is peaceful and, at least for this one night and this one moment, so is Boston. As I unlocked my front door, one of my neighbors called out to me: "Good night!" It really is.

I'm going to go to bed soon. I'm going to read a little. And tonight I'm going to sleep.

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