That night, on Al's couch in Brooklyn, I was able to sort out the events, send some messages, see the grisly pictures of victims with their legs blown off, bones exposed. I think we need to see that. I think we need to see more of it: the real effects of these events on people. I just wanted to get home, where I belonged.
If you're up for it, here are some images and video. Close-hand video near the blast. And very graphic images here.
And crazy thought number two, but I remembered I had some overdue library books, and wondered when Copley Square would be open again so I could return them.
In New York, everything was normal. I wanted people to know I was from Boston. There was a part of me that wanted sympathy. I wondered what they'd say? Should I have been wearing a Sox cap? A Boston t-shirt. Then again, no. I hate calling attention to myself, and worse, I hate American jingoism in all its forms. Flag waving. Nationalism in all the hideous forms it takes in the United States. From traveling abroad, I know if you can't tell I'm from the United States just by looking at me, you're blind. And I wanted to be around my family and friends. Not people who couldn't relate.
When I got to the gate at Port Authority there were two middle-aged women standing in front of me, waiting in line. Besides the fact that the bus was leaving for Boston, you could just tell they were Bostonians. The accents. White, tough-looking, overweight old broads who looked like they'd as soon spit on you as say hello. Two more showed up, and never said excuse me or explained why they were pushing ahead in line to meet with their friends. They just did it. When we boarded the bus, again, two pushed ahead and when I let the other two ahead of me, neither one said excuse me or thank you. That, as much as anything, is Boston.
And I know some readers are thinking: He's going to segue into saying, but they're my fellow Bostonians and I love them anyway. No. That's not it at all. What I'm saying is, after 32 years of living in that city, whether I like it or not, wishing it was one way but accepting it for what it really is, it's my home. When something like this happens, it's where I want to be.