This isn’t the story I should be writing.
I should be telling you that I went home this weekend. That my baby sister had the lead in her school’s production of Cabaret and I was so blown away that I cried from the second her big final number began.
I should be telling you that I got to go back to Fenway Park, a place I practically lived at in college, for the first time in two years. That it was chilly and windy, but we sat in the grandstands and cheered Buchholz as he took a no-hitter into the 8th. And that I remember the delightful peace that comes from watching a baseball game in Boston, especially with your whole family.
I should be telling you that even though the weekend was short, and I lost more than my share of sleep in the transition, being home filled the empty spot in my heart so perfectly that I forgot it was even there in the first place.
And I almost did. My father dropped me off at Logan Monday morning and headed off to the 11:00am Red Sox game and a day of celebrating in the city. I had made cracks all week about the sad irony that I was leaving Boston on its greatest holiday, Marathon Monday, but when I boarded the flight I was full and happy. Once we cleared altitude I opened my laptop to start typing, but was so tired that I fell asleep watching Criminal Minds instead. When the plane landed 6 hours later, and I turned my phone on to text my father, it only took minutes for the air to fill with every worry, thought and prayer that could be found.
"Explosion at the finish line. Don't know whats happening. Love you."
I can’t bring myself to terms with the idea that the city I left less than 48 hours ago won’t be the same city I return to, whether it be weeks or months from now. I can’t believe it because every time I see the video footage and the photos, the people I see in them are the same as I have always remembered. The young 20 and 30-something guys with Red Sox hats turned backwards ripping their shirts off to use as tourniquets and bandages? Those are the same guys I meet with my dad to grab a few beers at the local bar. The girls with their leggings and college t-shirts, neon sneakers gleaming as they rushed to grab their friends? Those are the same girls I spent four years slinging drinks with, sharing gummy bears in the wait station and horror stories during pre-shift. While something so purely evil happened on a day that is a celebration of determination, fight, and the city itself, what has come of it so far is a testament to the very spirit that has always, in triumph and now in tragedy, made Boston so uniquely special.
It seems impossible that things could ever be the same, could ever return to normal, but any Boston sports fan will tell you that believing in the impossible is part of their DNA. So while I find it hard to put words to what will happen now to the home that I left behind yesterday morning, I do not worry. Who or whatever did this should know by now that they have sadly underestimated the city they are dealing with.
I walked into work this morning wearing my favorite locket and my BU t-shirt, silent gestures that I knew wouldn’t change anything but that I felt I had to make anyways. My co-worker, also from MA, met me at my desk in a Red Sox hat with a Dunkin’ Donuts K-Cup in hand. We agreed that there was only one place in the world that we wanted to be right now.
This isn’t the post I should be writing, but here we are. The words still won’t quite come out right, but they are ones I will repeat over and over, just as loud as I can.
I have never loved that dirty water more.