You guys. I am unraveled by the Boston Marathon bombing. I am all f’tootsed. I’m forgetful, anxious, and antsy. Distracted. My mind has been spinning for three days. And the fact that this is how I am feeling has got me even more in a tailspin.
This is not how 9/11 was for me. On September 11, 2001, I lived with four roommates in a big old house in the Boston suburbs. It was to be my first day of graduate school (which didn’t happen because the country came to a standstill and everything was cancelled.) I was working in a tiny cubicle in a huge publishing company and after we initially heard the news, the lights in our building went out. Weird, right? I know. So, with no work getting done and everyone a mess, we got sent . home. We gathered around our televisions. We lit candles on our porch and we called our people. There was a. lot. of. drama. But — and I am ashamed to admit it publicly — I didn’t have any feelings about 9/11. It did not stop me in my tracks. It did not make me fearful. It did not make me distrustful or heartbroken or challenge my faith in humanity or anything. I have gone over and over this for the past twelve years, but I have no answers. September 11th, while clearly a tragedy, did not touch me.
But Boston. This thing. I can’t even tell you what it is about it that is haunting me. Or even what exactly I am feeling. It’s not sadness or anger or fear. I only know that I have been absolutely consumed by it since the moment I heard, standing in the middle of the Children’s Museum with my kid and our pals. From the instant I got a call telling me that there was breaking news at the marathon, I have been devoured by thoughts of it.
I am surprised by my reaction, frankly. It’s so vastly different from the last time our country experienced something similar. Is it because I have a wife and a kid now? Is it because it’s my hometown and I am not there? Is it because I am twelve years older and twelve years different? I can’t figure it out. I think maybe if I could get a handle on exactly what is so troubling to me, I could alleviate some of the symptoms of it (the forgetfulness, distractedness, anxiety, etc.) but I can’t.
So, I guess I’ll just keep writing about it and reading about it and catching bits of news about it when I can, in the hopes that eventually I will find some clarity. And until then? Well, until then I don’t know. I just hope this perseverating will quiet soon. I’m tired.