Monday, April 15, 2013

The Longest 5 Minutes Of My Life; The Shortest 500 Feet Of Hers

The green marker below shows where my girlfriend was at 2:50 p.m. today. The red one shows where a bomb went off at that moment, killing people.

4:53: Knowing nothing about the news yet, and having only heard the final score of the game, I try to call Kim, who'd been at Fenway with some friends, while the old lady I'm about to take to acupuncture is in the bathroom. It's an old-school phone, yet after a few attempts which lead only to dead air, I get through: "You've reached Harold and Martha, you know what to do. Beep." Odd that I'd call the wrong number, I thought, but whatever, I finally got Kim's voice mail and left a message.

5:00: I've dropped off the woman, and headed out to the grocery store to get her a few things--here's my chance to flip on the radio and get the Red Sox details. The radio starts talking about how the Bruins game is postponed. Wow, wonder what that's about.... Then they say how some families of Newtown victims were at the finish line, and that's where "the injuries were." Okay, this is getting weird.

5:02: I park at the store and call Kim, now a little worried, while trying to hear exactly what happened on the radio--as far as I know it could still be a tornado or a kid with a bb gun at this point, they're not saying what the crud happened.

5:03: Still getting the dead air at Kim's phone number. Now I think back to how it was dead before, and I'm worrying. People are dying and getting injured--they say 60 people--, Kim's phone doesn't work, and she's in Boston, probably somewhere near the marathon route. Then again, maybe she's already home. I had no idea what her plans were for post-game, if she was gonna go to or avoid the marathon.

5:05: This is around when I almost lose it right there in the parking lot of the official supermarket of the Boston Red Sox in Newport, Rhode Island. I'm not thinking "cell service must be dead," I'm only thinking "Kim's phone--and maybe Kim--is dead."

5:07: Bombs. Carnage. This happened two hours ago but it's new to me, and my girlfriend is AWOL. It's like the Mooninites all over again. But then it rings! And she picks up. And she's fucking there! That's right, after the game, she headed down Boylston as her friend wanted to go to Sephora. They head up the escalator at the Prudential Center mall, and boom. She said to her friend, "I hope that's a cannon." A few seconds later, the closer bomb goes off. She says she felt it through her whole body. Now it's time to run. The police herd her and hundreds more out the back. She says the feeling of being in that "running from actual danger" crowd we've all seen on TV is the worst one you can have. She ends up on Huntington, the only casualty in her group a sprained ankle on her friend, and long story short, she has to walk all the way to her car at Lechmere where she's finally able to charge her phone, which had died from too many pics at the Red Sox game, and get the call from me.

I worried there were more bombs and that she might not make it through the tunnel on 93, but she insisted the Ts were running again and it's all over. Finally we both ended up at home in Providence where I hugged her at my normal pressure level, since I always hug at the highest amount. After watching all the craziness on TV, extra-surreal to Kim knowing she was right there, I went to G-Maps to see just how close she was. 500 feet. Think about it. If they'd decided to keep walking instead of turning right at the Pru, they'd have walked right into that second explosion. She kept saying how happy everyone was right up until that moment. The Sox had won and everyone was out, watching the runners and basically partying in the roped-off streets, and then Boom. Stupid terrorists.

I'm glad Kim is (at least physically) OK. Terrifying stuff.
Thanks. She's shaken up but very happy to be alive. It's that thing where everyone around her is all freaked out about how close she was and she's calming US down saying how there's not a scratch on her and not to worry about her. She's a tough New
Also surreal is hearing/seeing Steve Silva's name all over the place on the real news. Piers Morgan interviewed him and Rachel Maddow and Anderson Cooper have uttered his name. I'm not sure if I should be thinking, "good job not running away from the explosion" or "drop the fucking camera and start helping, stupid Dirt Dog!"
Delighted shes ok,best of luck to you all in Boston

Mark UK
Glad both you and Kim are okay.
Thanks and thanks.
Wow! Man I would have been freaking the eff out, glad Kim is fine but I can't fathom going thru that. All so surreal.
Scary shit. I'm glad Kim is all right.

Glad to hear that Kim is okay. I have several cousins in Boston, a couple of whom have run the marathon several times, and one of them had a son who had been near the finish line about an hour earlier; fortunately they're all fine as well. As the parent of a pair of three year olds, hearing about that 8 year old boy, along with the other injured children, is heartbreaking.

As for Silva, I'm definitely not a fan; I haven't been to his site in about 7 years or so, ever since that time he showed incredibly bad judgement making a joke about Tito's return to Philly using a picture of a civil rights-era beating of an African-American man. But I will give him credit for running towards the explosion and getting the footage; I do think that was very brave. Yes, you could argue that he could have been helping instead, but two points: 1) in those immediate chaotic moments it would have been hard to even know what to do right away, and 2) fortunately there were a ton of far-better-trained professional first responders on the scene to help, I'm not sure that there was anything more that Silva could have done in those moments to make a difference.
From Mom.
The sound of Kim's voice last night, knowing she was all right, was the sweetest sound I've ever heard. Not knowing what else to say, at such a loss for words, I'll tell you that I heard that the Yankees are going to play Sweet Caroline after the third inning of their game tonight in solidarity with Boston.
wow man. so glad kim averted harm. it really *is* different when it's home.
Thanks for sharing this. I am glad Kim is okay. I cannot imagine what those five minutes were like. Not being able to get in touch with someone who might be hurt, that is one of my what-if worries.
Jere, I read this post on FB via Kim. So glad you are both ok. Thanks for writing this.
Thanks, all....
Peace to you and yours.

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Location: Rhode Island, United States