Monday, April 15, 2013

On Boston

Nothing is safe. Nothing and no one and nowhere in America can anymore be presumed to be safe from violence. I get nervous shopping in Target, I'm a wreck at Five Guys, I have greater and lesser frissons of worry throughout the day as my older kid is at preschool or the both of them are in the gym's Kids Club. There are many days I'm more or less stable and don't think too much about it, but I'm almost never 100% free of it, and there are other days I can't stop doing my hoodoo magical thinking -- these mental gymnastics I do that I think might be the key to preventing myself or my family members being among the victims of this or that next mass shooting or bombing: I scan for the exits and potential sheltering places everywhere I go; I give the nervous side-eye to bathroom doors, staff-only entrances, odd dogleg floor plans; I hate to have my back to the room in restaurants; I have been known to check for snipers on roofs and in windows; I can be thrown into heart-thumping panic by anyone behaving strangely (talking to themselves, angry over something I can't make out, being too loud, or -- especially -- praying in public). I had a post all written about the 5K I ran yesterday, how fun and awesome and full of camaraderie it was and how proud I was of breaking through my old cobwebbing of negative feelings toward running in general and doing a running event in particular, of placing tenth in my age division (30-39) without even really turning on the gas, how excited I am to do it again, and to run the half-marathon I'm training for in June -- but now, who cares about that shit: More people just got murdered, permanently maimed, terrorized, for running one of the world's oldest, grandest and most respected foot races. Every day, it seems, someone steals from us all the idea that you can do something else completely normal without being murdered for being there: watch a movie, eat in a restaurant, go to the gym, show up to work, attend the first fucking grade, compete in an athletic event that you trained for over months or years. Where does this all stop? How do we accept this, living like this? Nothing is safe, nowhere is safe.



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