Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Next Day

Comm Ave, with Pru building center, background, noon 4/16/2013.
Do these people look scared to you?
Last night, after a few hours, you had to walk away from it.

We turned off the TV showing the same shots over and over, weary of the speculation in the face of no new information. We took the dogs for a long walk.

There was an eerie quiet, a solitude in the air. What was notable was the occasional siren, or the sound and sight of a helicopter a few miles away.

Today dawned bright and beautiful. As it happened, I had early business to tend to in Arlington. It was good to get out amongst the people.

A lot of schools are on holiday this week. The city seemed to be going about its paces in a relatively normal way, even though the area of the crime is normally very congested and busy.

Later in the day we went closer toward downtown. One of the tallest buildings is the Prudential Tower. Almost 50 years old, the 52-story tower overlooks the blast site. Giant skyscrapers don't really dominate the Boston skyline, so this one stands out. In the distance, as we neared I kept looking toward it, and remembering the carnage that had happened less than 24 hours earlier.

Driving a bit later down Commonwealth Avenue in front of BU (who, tragically, has lost four students to various awful deaths this year, the last a still-unnamed grad student killed in the bombings Monday)... I saw traffic, cyclists, a lot of student foot traffic, a Green Line train filled (as usual)... people jaywalking. People in cars cutting other people off. People wandering in and out of shops and restaurants.


Actually... they seemed to be shrugging off the shit that had happened just blocks away, getting on with their day and their lives.

In inimitable Boston style, their response seemed to be: Fuck you, terrorists.

This made me almost giddy.

When you think about it, the whole Patriots Day thing is a celebration of the people of Greater Boston telling those who would oppress them to shove it up their ass.

At least three people are dead, well more than 100 injured, and many have lost limbs. The horrible facts are still being discovered about this sick crime. But the people here have seemed to accept this and are refusing to let it dominate their lives.

I'm inspired to be around it.

The hurt isn't over. The first known victim was an 8-year-old boy. The second named was a 29-year old woman who apparently was quite the stereotypical Boston girl: a feisty red-headed Irish spitfire. There are still a good deal of patients who are fighting for their lives in overcoming the sadistic injuries inflicted by the terror bombs.

But more than any city in the U.S., Boston has been fighting against this kind of thing for almost 400 years. And it's been battered and bruised, but it's never backed away from a fight. And it's won a lot more than it's lost. If it hadn't, there wouldn't be those stars and stripes flying at half-staff today. Boston's going to be just fine.

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