It’s 2:30 in the morning, and I can’t sleep. My mind still races. It’s filled with a kaleidoscopic collection of images and emotions and injuries and death. Some of it is Boston and today’s attack on the marathon. Some of it’s from my own memories of New York and the World Trade Center attack from a dozen years ago, back in crystal clarity. There is blood. There is crying. There is confusion. There is pain. I can’t seem to shut it out, despite having walked away earlier in the day from Twitter and news and the incessant onslaught of people in search of information and answers.
I remember, when I was younger, these types of terroristic attacks used to happen to other people. We were safe in America. We were untouchable in America. We were insulated from the Bad Things and the Bad People.
How times have changed.
I remember on 9/11 being gripped with fear of knowing there were people I knew, people I loved working in the World Trade Center. My mind was frantic, wondering if they were alive or dead. How many more of my friends in New York might have just happened by the Towers, victims of being in the wrong place at the wrong time? I was in Boston a month ago, visiting friends. I had former coworkers running in the race. I had friends along the route, cheering on runners. When the news broke today, I felt the same icy grip of fear all over again. How many people were in the wrong place at the wrong time? Too many. Families from Sandy Hook were at the finish line, and what was supposed to honor the families of the shooting victims was, instead, a cruel juxtaposition of pain and loss all over again. Setting explosions to go off at the precise opportunity to ensure the most casualties, like the bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City. So much anger. So much hatred.
I feel like this world is slipping out of control. I feel like this is what going mad must be like.
I thought it was safe to go back into the water. And even here I was wrong, as news of someone jumping through a sixth story window to his death has flooded my timeline. As it is the middle of the night, that is all I see. That and the image of a still body, covered with a sheet. I think about the parents who will receive the middle of the night phone call about their son. I feel a precursor of their keening grief. So much death. So much loss. So much unbearable pain.
I want to write about happiness. I want to write about joy again. But today, today I have been overwhelmed by darker things. I am tired, exhausted from the day’s events, but sleep outpaces me, and I cannot stop my mind from racing. I lie in bed and question my concept of safe. I question my concept of hope. I feel awash in grief.
I find it hard to tell you, I find it hard to take
When people run in circles it’s a very, very
Mad world, mad world
Enlarging your world