Tuesday, April 16, 2013

So, Yesterday Actually DID Happen...


*I apologize in advance for any typos. My spell checker decided not to work, and I'm just not in the mood to deal.

That was the second thought that went through my head this morning. Here's what happened right before: I could hear my text message tone going off. It was pretty early, so I thought I should check it. The phone wasn't ringing, so I knew it wasn't an emergency...meaning I didn't exactly hurry to check. Here's where my brain goes, "I'm going to open my eyes, and it will all be just some horrid dream. I'll roll over and they'll be some story about a bear in New Hampshire or something...and that will be that." I opened my eyes, there were Policemen and National Guard standing infront of the Taj Hotel with semi-automatic weapons. People waiting to get fancy and expesive drinks belong there, not massive fire arms.... So yes...yesterday actually DID happen...

I love Marathon Monday. I love the energy and comroderay it brings to the city. Think of the hard work and dedication it takes to even GET to qualify for the Boston Marathon. Not only is the day close to my heart, Marathon Monday runs physically close to my life. The major turn on the route from Chestnut Hill Ave. to Commonwealth Ave is two-ish blocks from my apartment. My job is in the same city block where the Marathon finish line is. Yes, things did really hit THAT close my part of my everyday life. In all honestly, I'm sad...confused...and fucking pissed that someone did something like this to MY city.

I think I just want to talk through my day yesterday. Today's not the day for me to talk about how much I love Boston and how I think this will bear on the future. I'm still processing way to much to do that. Hell...I didn't even cry until this morning, and if you know me...you know I'm pretty fluid with the waterworks.

My alarm went off at 5:45 am yesterday. I was scheduled to open yesterday, and needed extra time BECAUSE it was Marathon Monday. Copley T stop (for non-Bostonians, I exit the T literally across the street from where the blast closest the finish line went off) if ALWAYS closed for the entirety of Marathon. That accounted for the extra 15 minutes I gave myself... I went up one extra T stop to Arlington to avoid the crowds, but still make it to work on time.

I commented on FaceBook that I love the energy in the city on Marathon Monday. It was a beautiful cool, early Spring day with ample sunshine. I thoroughly enjoyed the extra 4-ish block walk to work that the day required of me. I went through my work day, not a single customer interaction went without talk of the Marathon. Again...there's such a great spirit in the area that day. I had so many people in killing time before going to see their loved ones cross the finish line. You work in a tourist rich area long eneough, you learn on days like yesterday part of your job becomes to be a concierge of sorts to visitors to the city: where to go, what to eat, how to get from point A to point B. I really love it!

My shift ended at 2pm. My plan was to do my Couch to 5K workout in the Public Garden right after work and then shopping on Public Transit to go to my gym for a swim. My manager commented that the Public Garden was a little crazy, so I decided to just hear to the gym.  I'm glad that's the way things went. Had I decided to run in the area...between changing, stretching and running... I would have just been getting back to my work to pick up my things right before the blast went off. I had the thought last night of, "what if I HAD gone there, and fueled by the endorphins from my workout...decided to go to the finish line and see people cross the finish line. Would I have been there when the blasts went off?" You can't really think like that. It's distrctive. I'm oddly comfortned by the fact that if I go for a run/walk outside I ALWAYS have my phone (for music), my id and insurance card on me. My "always be prepared" father taught me well.

I took the T from Arlington to my gym. Arlington was a mad house but in a good way. Tons of runners and their families jumping on the T. I even commented on FaceBook about the interesting dichotomy of exhausted Marathon runners and drunk bros. Only in Boston...only on Patriots Day. Emrerging from underground on Kenmore, I notice an ambulance going towards the city center sirens blaring. I shrugged it off. "It's a big city, it's an ambulance. No big deal." As I got off the T to walk to the gym, I saw two motorcylce cops heading towards the city center. "It's a busy day, I'm sure it's no big deal." I walked into the gym and grabbed my two towels and robes from the girl at the front desk. She was on the phone...as I walk away I heard her say, "Oh My God!" "Maybe it's personal," I think. "I really hope these things aren't related." I made plans to check my twitter after I went to the bathroom...because I REALLY had to go!

But I didn't have time to check twitter, I didn't need to. I retrurned to my hpone with this...

Al: "Where are you right now?"

Shit. Something happened. Something happened at the maraton. I know it.

Me: "At the gym. Y? What happened?"
Al: "Whew."
Me: "What happened?"
Al "Two explosins in Copley."

I group text my Mom, Dad and sister to let them know what happened and that I'm fine. I text my boss to check in on the stop. Everything is fine. I decide to change into my running clothes and get on the treadmill. It's on odd way of me showing solidarity with the runners. Plus, it was a sure fire way to know that I would have 30 minutes to myself without what was soon to be the constant media bombardment to cover the explosions. Another reason for wanting to stay at the gym and not hoof it home, I life two blocks from part of the marathon route. "If they're blowing up things on the marathon route, then I don't exactly want to rush to be near it." (I didn't tell anyone this until just now. I figured it was best to not freak out and upset my loved ones.)

I didn't get a complete respit from the media coverage as the TVs in the cardio room were covering the explosions, but I couldn't HEAR....I had MY music blaring in my ears so that was OK.

I turned my phone off airplane mode after finishing my run/walk and I have so many calls/texts/facebook messages that my phone ceased up...twice. So if you tried to contact me and I never got back with you, I am truley sorry...and thanks for checking in.

The plan was to change into my swimsuit and do a 1/2 mile of drills. That never happened. By that time the Green Line underground had already been shutdown (the part through the city center) with talking of ALL of the Green Line (the above ground parts too - where gym and apartment are for me) shutting down. I would have loved to been in the pool yesterday, but enjoy the waters' cool, comforting, embrace; but I had to be smart.  I went to the lobby where I group of people were gathered around the TV watching with audio. It started to get kind of real then. I also found out that all of the Green Line was shut down. I had to figure out how to get home. I had four options...

1) Wait for Al to drive from his job to pick me up.
2) Walk
3) Navigate the bus
4) Take a cab

This is where my overtly vigilant, yet highly logical brain takes over: They've shut down the T, so why exactly would I want to get on the bus...another mode of public transit? Option 3 is out. They don't know who did this or if there will be more. Getting in a car with a stranger. I don't care if it IS a cabbie...that just seams like a bad idea. No cab. I don't really think I can sit still long enough to wait for Al to drive and pick me up. Option 2 is it: walk home.

I've never walked home from the gym before. Here's why... It's right at a 2 mile walk (with some pretty wicked hills). It wasn't that bad of a walk actually. I called my Mom to talk to her for a bit and let her know what I was doing. I wasn't the only one walking home, it looked like. Lots of groups of people walking home, people on their stoops chatting, marathon volunteers walking upstream away from the marathon route. There were more people out than a normal day. More even for normal for Marathon Monday. Even my outer corner of Boston, you could tell that something was very, VERY different.

I got home about 8 minutes before Al did. It was so nice to hug him and have that part of the day, the alone part of the day be done. I'll write later on more of my emtional reaction later. It's honestly still a little raw for public consumption: WAY too many "fucks"...even for me.

I will say this though: Boston is where I the real me lives. The complete me. Where all the facets of myself come together and finally feel a real place to belong and thrive. Boston's scrappy edges, strong backbone and BIG ASS heart will carry it through.

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