There have always been things that scare me, when I was little it was thunderstorms and the dark. As I got older it was Mike and Philip, two nasty neighbor boys. When I started driving it was other drivers and for a while I was afraid of life size stuffed animals. Then I started reading true crime books and it was serial killers and dating. As I got older I learned to file these frights away in a compartment in my brain I never go. After a beautiful September morning in 2001 I became afraid of terrorists and planes. I filed those memories away too. Stuffed them in the closet and locked the door.

Yesterday afternoon the door got blown off it’s hinges. I hope the face I presented to my co-workers and people at large didn’t reflect the chaos inside me. As I saw the orange flames of the explosion in Boston yesterday I also saw orange flames pouring out of a building a building that collapsed taking thousands with it, and I remember another image from my childhood, of a masked man on a balcony, another terrorist act at a major sporting event. An event that happened in another country but an image that has endured.

The reports of people running to help also brings back memories, of people running to help victims trapped in a building and paying for it with their lives. A man yesterday ran to help some children and paid for it with his legs.

Last night as I was walking around the store, not knowing why I was there and trying not to cry or have a breakdown in public or explode, I kept telling myself to stop feeling like that, that I had no right to feel as upset as I did, because I wasn’t hurt and no one I loved was hurt. Today I sit here and type this and realize that in Boston, there are people feeling like I felt, and it hurts me, because those are feelings I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

Advertisements