Tuesday, April 16, 2013

I Just Don't Understand

As it should be. 

          They killed an 8 year old. A little kid out on April vacation, one of the first nice days we’ve had here since the winter, probably just out with his family. They attacked my home. And I don’t understand. I can’t understand. I may jest about wanting to drive into other terrible drivers, or hit people who are frustratingly stupid, but in actuality, I don’t have a malicious bone in my body. I can’t imagine doing something to intentionally harm another person. I’m that weird person that stops to pick bugs up off of the bike trail to move them to the safe grassy areas so they won’t get run over. I see this picture of Boylston St across from the library - where I grew up walking around, and I still walk around, and my friends walk around, and my brother was walking around yesterday - painted in blood, including the blood of that 8 year old, and I can’t figure out whether to cry or throw up. Maybe I will do both simultaneously.

            Then I think about all the people who have been injured and think how happy their families must be that they are still alive, but wonder if they will be as happy to continue their lives without a leg or arm. I wouldn’t. I don’t think I’d want to live the rest of my life with no legs. To me that would be no life. And in this moment of rage and sadness that this violence has been unleashed on my city, I can find so much gratitude. As far as I know, none of my friends or family were harmed. I had to work today, so I wasn’t in the city. I live in a suburb that is far enough out of the city and boring enough that it probably wouldn’t ever be a terrorist target. Even luckier, we live in a country where occurrences like this ARE jarring. This is a shock. There are places in the world where this sort of thing happens every week.
            We are so lucky. We have enjoyed such a carefree existence. I can’t imagine what it is like to live in a country where bombs and drone attacks are commonplace like oatmeal. When you hear about an attack, does that rock that drops from your throat into your stomach while you try to continue swallowing get bigger? Does it just petrify your insides until you’re completely filled with a stone-wall? Can your heart keep beating inside something like that? Does it make you numb to your surroundings? Instead of expecting every day to be fairly dull, do you expect every day to hear that someone you know and love has died and find yourself surprised when no one does? What kind of life is that? I don’t know how to help. Maybe all we can do is to ignore the violence – not give credence to it. Continue life and live without fear, full of exuberance, as if we were eight, on our first day of April vacation on the first nice day since winter. 
Yes, Martin, I completely agree. God rest your sweet
little soul. (Martin Richard d.4/15/2013)

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