Shock, pain and anger. They don’t often come to me and certainly not in the form and way that they did yesterday as I stood in Brookline waiting for two dear friends to run through with another on and off Facetime. Someone I work with texted to ask if I were alright, I was confused at his response.
Everyone around me was still cheering for the runners. Everything got a bit surreal at that point as the medical team’s demeanor changed. They were being lax about us crossing the line along the race course, but no more. One member held up a bag and when he didn’t find its owner there were suddenly men and women in fatigues telling us we had to go. I started walking towards the runners. I didn’t know that they had stopped my friends yet so I kept walking until I knew. Every time I stood still another person in a uniform told me to keep going.
Then the texts started up, my phone started pinging incessantly as I rushed toward home in a daze.
I’ve spent most of the last 15 hours in bed. Absorbing what happened to my beautiful city.
I used the word terrorist yesterday. Not as a point to nationality or skin color, but because my city felt real terror yesterday.
Those at the finish line. They felt terror. Those injured at the bomb sites. They felt terror. My friends felt terror as they were turned from about a block away of another potential bomb. They felt terror. And for moments until I got away from the race path, I felt terror too.
Terrorism isn’t about some dark-skinned person doing something bad to our country. The word has been sadly overused by the media and our government in a fear-fueled cacophony to make us react.
And now, to me, it is a word that speaks about the events yesterday after seeing the fear in everyone’s eyes.
This isn’t to say that we aren’t strong. Someone said yesterday that you picked the wrong city to fuck with because we will fuck you back.
So hear this, terrorist:
We will find you. You already lost. We already beat you. We beat you yesterday when Boston opened their homes to the marathoners and we will beat you with every moment we run and/or cheer next year.
You can’t take our heart, our will to live, our love. Our home. No matter how you try.