Boston is my home, the place where I can reach out and touch nearly all the people I love most in the world.  I spent most of yesterday trying to make contact with each one of them - everyone goes to the marathon, you know, everyone crowds around the finish line - and those endless endless spans of radio silence between, “I’m okay, are you okay?” and “Yes, yes, I’m okay, I’m safe” were awful, dark and twisted paths that my brain lit up with screams and sirens.  The news kept pouring in - another bomb, another, a fire, the dead, the injured.  There was blood all over the sidewalks.  There was blood all over the fucking sidewalks.
Yesterday was measured in heartbeats.
But everyone I love is safe.  So that is something.  A selfish, overwhelming something, for which I am so, so grateful.
And then there was the sheer outpouring of goodness, the number of people who ran toward the explosions, the offers of housing and money and whatever people could give, the messages from everywhere - We stand with you, we’re here for you, we’re here… It’s dizzying, that kind of love.  Over and over, it brought me to tears.  Because this is what we do, we humans.  When it comes down to it, we just really and truly and fiercely love the shit out of each other.
Still, I called in to work today.  When I woke up this morning and thought about going in - climbing into a metal tube, winding through underground tunnels into the heart of the city, sitting all day at a desk in a federal building - my anxiety-disordered brain was having none of it.  Part of me thinks, “This is the point.  This is what it means to sow fear.  You have to be stronger than this.”  The other part of me just keeps thinking of how afraid all of those people must have been.  How terrified, in those moments, under a bizarrely sunny sky, when everything was torn apart.
I’m trying - trying - to keep my eyes on the good.
I just…
This place.  You know?
It’s my home.


  1. Jess, your post is the first I heard of this. Yesterday, my dad and I were talking about the marathon and, as soon as I read your introductory paragraph, I did a mad scramble to search for the story.

    I can't fathom that this has happened. The boy at the finish line waiting for his dad, I just don't understand how we allowed ourselves to get here.

  2. Consider this another outpouring of love. Glad that you are safe, that you and yours are safe. I love Boston, and I have since I was a teenager, from the moment my feet first landed on the streets. I've been back many times and knew it was the kind of place for me. I cannot begin to imagine how you feel, but know that you, that your city, are surrounded by thought of comfort, of peace, of love.

  3. Boston's my city, too. Haven't been there in a while, but those years there were great ones, and I walked that street every day when in college and when working at the library and when watching the marathon.

    How to deal with being there, I wouldn't know. But one of the things I did yesterday was bring up your twitter page to make sure you're okay. And those connections you have with your friends, and all the reaching out you mentioned, those are good to focus on when the weight is there.

  4. I'm so sorry for you, for the runners, for the families of those who were killed and injured. I agree - this really sucks.

  5. Boston is everyone's city now. I am so thankful you were safe...it was terrible being out of the country when this happened. It's impossible to comprehend how this could happen. Runners are the kindest athletes in the world -- they welcome everyone, no matter what fitness level, sex, age, etc. And even though they are competitive, they'll help anyone having problems. If you fall, they'll pick you up. If you get sick, they stop and help. Incomprehensible how someone could take something so wholesome, so GOOD, and try to obliterate it...

  6. Your home. I know. Haven't lived there in 15 years, yet, still, I know. This is beautiful writing, Jessica. And only one day after the marathon, still so raw, you have distilled the essence--how love reigns. Glad you took the time off to write this. It's part of sowing fear. And and an excellent use of your time. Thank you. Hugs.