Sunday, July 21, 2013

Crossing the finish line in Boston

7/20/13 09:07 Home

I was in Boston this past week for a trade show.  I drove up with Amanda, took the ferry across the Long Island Sound.  It was a scorcher this past week and all of us can complain about the heat, but then the reality hits us.  It’s July and we need to stop whining because in a few months, no…in a few weeks we might complain of the dead leaves on the trees.  But it’s still hot.  We went up to the deck on the ferry and there was a breeze over the calm waters.  I recalled picking Amanda up at Simmons and bringing her home.  It was a quiet ride for most of the trip, so soon after the bombing.  There was the thought what will her reaction be?  She was excited to go back to see her friend.  But I knew there was the anxiety she was not sharing or attempting to not give too much attention to.  The plan was for her to spend Tuesday night with her friend Lindsey while I hung out with Katie and Ben.   After a couple of hours out of Bridgeport we pulled into the city.  I need to add, there was an altercation with an attendant at a gas station.  Beware of the belligerence of this Sarah off 95 in a small Connecticut town - Wethersfield.  The dim child switched my order with another, tried to tell me to stop the guy on three from pumping.  You need to go out there!  Tell him to stop pumping your gas!  What?  How? But you said pump three…blame the customer.  When I said I would complain to the manager she said go ahead, he told me I could say whatever I wanted to a customer.  There’s customer service for you; from the manager down.   I said, I’d call the district manager and complain about you both! The positive out of this was that I did not use any foul language or call her the ignoramus she is.  After driving away I thought better of what occurred.  It was obvious she was not all there and this was the only job the poor dim dunce could occupy.  Ben is doing well, working for a NASA project at MIT…he received his doctorate from Harvard this past June and the three of shared a delicious dinner at The Kitchen in Boston’s South side on Tremont Avenue. The neighborhood was once a dangerous area for most to enter - just ten years before.  While we ate outside; it drizzled lightly.  The scent of the steam rising off the concrete made the double burger with cheese more delectable.  I had two beers from the oldest brewery in the world, Weihenstephan served in cooled metallic steins…Ben referred to them in their native tongue.  After dessert I headed back to the hotel in Copley square and called it a night.  Next morning, I walked seven blocks in the furnace to the hotel where the trade show was.  I arrived sweaty and damp and knew I should have taken a taxi.  Later that night Amanda and I ate in the concierge lounge, I had two Harpoon IPA’s.  We walked down to Newbury St for a veggie burger and a shake.  On the way back to the hotel we walked on Boylston Street where the bombings occurred.    The architecture stood out from the new footage of the blasts, the store fronts, all of them and the people who mingled about with their meals, stifled in the heat and haze. Did they consider the screams and where are the blood stains? The closed store which took a direct hit and we walked down to where the yellow mark for the finish line is.  This is Boston strong.  I took a picture of Amanda.  She doesn’t look happy since even a couple of months later the memories crept up , she didn’t sleep very well although I remember her looking out the window at the Prudential building and listened as she said she loved Boston so much.  The next morning I ran in the humidity, the ninety degrees and wanted to pass the stores we walked by the night before.  I wanted my sneakers to smack the concrete.  I passed the press vans who were lined us trying to get quotes since the new tangled story way back last week was the controversial cover of Rolling Stone.  And I admit I wanted to say how great this country is. We can have freedom of speech, freedom of press and can have a publisher far off without a care of the victims, who had the insensitivity to print a picture of a passive faced killer… who appeared stoned for the camera…and I thought back to the dinner I had with Katie and Ben and how they described the city soon after the bombings, a police state and both woke up with the onslaught of gun shots since they live in Watertown.  Ben opened up since he said he could not sleep for days, was it nerves or adrenalin?   Machines and cords, a homeless man asking what was going on?   I passed cameraman; poised behind their anonymous glorious machines sucking the life out of the faces and the voices captured pent up emotions that spilled on the screen.  We survive…we turn off the TV and can’t see the covers since they are banned in many stores …freedom…and just as well since we should all judge a book or a magazine by its cover instead of searching for the truth.  Who gives a shit about the cover?  We ignore the victims.  There are countless emotional scars and those souls who lost their loves and those who lost limbs and those who suffer PTS.  No matter how much time passes their scars will rise up whenever a reference is made and we can only sit there, listen and sympathize.  

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