Friday, April 18, 2013
Another of those “days I will never forget.” It happened in stages:
Spreading the word
Looking for hugs
6:30 am The phone rang. I looked at the clock radio and wondered who would be calling me at too early o’clock. Then I heard the robo-voice from the City on my answering machine. I couldn’t make out what was said, and I drifted back to sleep.
7:00 am My alarm was going off. I should wake up.. I should… then I hear Hubby’s voice. “You can turn that off, you’re not going anywhere,” he says in a very serious tone. This does not make any sense. He explains that the city is in “lockdown” and we’ve been asked to “shelter-in-place” while they hunt for one of the bombing suspects. What? These words don’t make sense either. We have never heard either word before, not in terms of us.
So I get up and get online. I read work email… my employer sent 8 emergency texts overnight. The new boss emailed everyone at 6:18 am telling us the office is closed. Stay safe. I begin to understand that there is no going to work or anywhere and that it is going to be another strange day in an odd week.
7:38 am Text Sister visiting Europe this week. Hate to disturb her, but feel like she should know.
8:00 am Finished texting and emailing co-workers to be sure they know not to go to the office. Began reading the news, trying to figure out what’s going on. MIT cop shot dead… one bombing suspect dead… another in Watertown they think. Big search. Everything closed, T shut down, everything cancelled. Wow. This is different. It reminds me of the snowstorm in February, except it’s a beautiful spring day.
I turned to Facebook. A friend’s home in Watertown searched by police looking for the bomber. Another was caught up in the police chase after the shooting last night. A third taught the second suspect in high school… nice kid. A fourth works at MIT and parks in the lot where the cop was sitting when he was shot. and the suspects lived on the same block as another friend… it’s all TOO CLOSE.
8:12 am Email from friend in Philadelphia worried about us. So good to hear from her.
9:12 am FB msg Philip looking for a hug. Don’t get it. Marvel at how different people react.
9:45 am Began to get emails, texts, IMs from friends all over. Notice who writes… not who I would have thought. Helps to know they are thinking of me. Sister calls from Europe. We marvel at how close we are to all this mess.
10:11 am Start Google Talking to a blogger pal. He fulfills my need to talk to someone. Work on posting an FFF.
11:00 am Hubby convinces me to sneak out to get breakfast. He wants to walk – I talk him into letting me drive. I throw on clothes and we venture out. We hear the neighbor leaving, telling his wife to lock the door behind him. He is headed to work in a non-locked down area.
11:40 am I sit in the car with the window open while Hubby gets food from Dunkin Donuts. It is the only thing allowed open – to serve the first responders. No one is in there. It is eerily quiet. Only sounds are the birds and the helicopters. It reminds me of 9/11 and the day after. Same sun… same quiet.
12:01 Operation “sneak out for donuts” is complete.
1:50 pm Finish and post the FFF. Kibbitz with blogger pal about it, go read other posts and comment.
2:00 pm Start work on the payroll. Chat with AM buddies working outside the lockdown zone. Say it is mostly normal except everyone is following the news and not working. My mother calls.
3:00 pm Finish payroll. Make another go at reading the news.
4:29 pm Post to Facebook with link to bizarre photos of empty streets around Boston, Cambridge and Somerville. Empty Downtown Crossing, Kenmore, Mass Ave… no cars, no people. Spooky.
4:30 pm Crawl into bed for a nap.
6:00 pm Hear Hubby talking to a pal, telling her I am sound asleep. I turn on the radio news. The lockdown is lifted! Hubby leaves for a dinner with friend. I feel very alone and hungry. I get up and go into the chat. They distract me.
7:00 pm I make a bowl of soup, keep an eye on chat and Facebook.
9:00 pm I begin to hear rumors that they’ve caught the second suspect! I pop around the net looking for confirmation. Finally, there is a Boston Police Department tweet. They’ve got him. I feel relieved. I so wanted to think of something else now.
I call my mom, checking on our plans for tomorrow. Still on. That means waking up at 6:30 am.
I mostly listen in chat… it’s a good distraction.
10:41 pm write back to a friend in Chicago. Good to hear from her.
12:00 I made myself go to bed so I’d be awake to drive in the morning.
I have a new appreciation for being able to go out of the house! And a new awareness of how we are not safe. People say “Stay safe.” How can I do that? It could have been any of us, anywhere, that someone set a backpack down next to and stared them right in the eye, and walked away. Ugh. Hoping this won’t give others ideas.