Jay, my friend Mary, and I were at the 23 mile mark of the marathon route, about three miles from the finish line where the bombs went off. It was sunny and breezy, a cover band was playing, we had drinks in hand, and we were tracking both friends who were running as well as Joey McIntyre. Because, I mean, of course. It’s JOEY MCINTYRE. Jay said he wanted to run with alongside him and sing “Please Don’t Go Girl”. We agreed that would be amazing. Marathon Monday is a day of good cheer and community, surely Joey wouldn’t mind.
Right after we hooted at my friend Amy as she ran by we decided to head across the street to one of our favorite gastropubs. As soon as we entered we saw that everyone was staring at the tv, which was showing the alarming headlines of the two explosions. We were bewildered and scared, both for our friends who were spectators down in the Back Bay as well as our friends who were running. After some quick math we figured that with three miles left, and the time the bombs went off, Amy would have had to run 5-minute miles to be there at that time. She’s good, but not 5-minute mile good, which made us feel slightly better… but we still weren’t sure.
It was so surreal, staring at the footage of the explosions then looking out the window at the runners still going by, no idea what had happened.
We heard pretty quickly from our spectator friends, but in the meantime a police officer had entered the pub and bellowed “Everyone OUT!” Rumors that they were finding more devices along the route spread and we decided it was best to get away from the scene entirely. When we got back to our ‘hood we settled at a different pub to wait for news and try to eat something. When the news came back on, everyone fell silent. It was one of those eerie moments when everyone is holding their breath, hoping for the best. Two dead, including an 8-year old child. Horrific pictures. No information about why it had happened.
Finally we heard from Amy, who texted and sent a facebook message saying that she and her boyfriend were fine, that they were half a mile from the finish when they were stopped and diverted from the route. Relief.
Since then it’s been a strange mix of incorrect news reports, statements from officials that are heartfelt but have no information, and general worry. That part of the city is still shut down for forensic analysis. Jay works downtown and was concerned he’d never make it down there. But really, all we can do is wait. Will information on who did this and why change anything? I don’t necessarily think so, but it might help people feel less scared and confused.
In the meantime, Jay made it to work tonight just fine. And, as if the universe knew we needed something to lift our spirits, Jay heard from a distant the unmistakable sound of Puppy Bike.