Monday, April 15, 2013

I love you, Boston.

Yesterday, I went to my swimming class in Cambridge and then stopped by a running store for earbuds. I had destroyed my second nice pair of earphones and figured the Yurbuds with the kevlar cord may be my last hope. I was heading over to meet The Husband, check out his studio space and then get some dinner with him. Dozens of runners were milling around with their official Boston Marathon bags and badges. Some were even wearing their jackets. I wished some of them luck and then stopped at the big planter in Brattle Square to sit and get my new earbuds out. I twisted them in and then stopped...

The man in the chair had started playing and it was familiar. Neil Young. "Long May You Run." It was a beautiful sunny warm day and I thought, "how perfect is this song? This moment?" The runners stopped and for a few minutes we were all together in that moment. I took a picture just because I wanted to remember how it all stood still. These are the things that are easy to miss. Later I bought that song and was going to post it last night. I hesitated, because even though it's beautiful, it's sad.

I had no idea I'd listen to it again tonight and sob.

This was my view at 6pm tonight. It seems like a cruel joke that something so horrific happened between these two towers just hours before. My first instinct was to be angry at the light coming into my apartment at that time. HOW CAN YOU BE SO BEAUTIFUL RIGHT NOW, BOSTON?! DON'T YOU SEE WHAT THEY DID TO YOU?!

I can't fully express how I feel, but today strikes me close to home, literally and figuratively. I'm angry. I'm heartbroken. I feel sick and I feel like as bad as I feel, it hasn't fully hit me yet. I buy my running shoes at the Marathon Sports that had it's windows blown out in the blast. I tested them out on the stretch of sidewalk thats now covered in blood. I hung out in that store, eating pizza and drinking beer after one of the clinics for the BAA's Half Marathon. This is my home and I don't know when it will feel normal again. The area of the Boston Marathon finish line is part of my daily life. My gym is right there. I sit on the Boston Public Library steps to eat from the food trucks. These things are just tumbling through my head. How will I go back there? And also, damn whoever did this for making me feel like this!

How must Dave McGillivray, Tom Grilk and the rest of the BAA staff feel? What are they going through right now? I have seen, firsthand, how much they love their races and runners. From the slowest to the fastest, they sincerely care. They must be devastated. How must everyone actually affected feel - the scared, the wounded and for those who were lost? One of the lost was an 8 year old boy. It's horrific. I'm angry about that and angry that they took something so loved and honored here, OUR marathon and put a dark mark on the day. I feel for those that put their heart and souls into getting to this race to have it end how it did. I get weepy just daydreaming about the day I qualify (I might be 80 but it will happen!). Can you imagine the joy of running your first (second, third...20th) Boston being stripped away in the terror they must have felt? I dread that we will think of today on every Patriots Day from now on.

As we'd say here, I'm wicked pissed. I have no doubt that Boston will band together and dust themselves off. We may always be in a hurry and we may not say "Hi" when we brush by you on the street, but we will fight for you when you need it. We're Massholes after all, right? I don't look forward to the time it will take to get by this, but we will. I know the running community, from Boston and beyond, will take care of each other. I speak for many when I say, if you're a runner, you're my friend. I'll share post-race beers with you. I'll bump into you on the sidewalk or at my gym. I'll make good, hopefully, lifelong friends just from the suggestion to talk to coworkers because, "hey! So and so runs too!", and when you fall, as you did today, I'll cry for you.

Tomorrow I'll do what I always do when my heart is heavy and broken. I'll run. I'll run for those we lost, the ones who are too injured to run and the ones who are too broken inside to step out. When you're ready, we're here to hold you up at the start line and catch you at the finish. Us, your formerly unknown best friend for race day. For those who have gone on without us, we'll hear your footsteps in ours. We will not forget you.

Long may you run.

link for mobile users who are having difficulty seeing the video:

1 comment:

  1. Well written Jillian. Thanks for posting this.