Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Everything was in a Fog

It seems like I have gone on for days relating aspects of my tattoo to the events in Boston on April 15, 2013.  Obviously, I never intended to get a tattoo that would have so many symbols that would lead me to keep the events of that fateful day front and center in my thinking and in my life. However, that is what I am left with, and there is at least one more aspect of the tattoo that can be tied into the events of a bit more than two weeks ago.

When Emily was starting on my tatto she had a pencil drawing that was very detailed and very crisp and clear.  Everything didn't necessarily obviously go together but everything was drawn extremely neatly and fit together in the image quite nicely.

However, as she did the outline and began to think about how to fill in the parts of the image that were around the two humans in the tattoo and in the light, she decided to add some mysterious fog.  Mysterious fog was her terminology.  I could not make this up.  So on my tattoo in the part of the scene that is behind St. Sebastian and Irene and in front of the buildings that are in the background, there is some fog.  It does not distort any of the front images but it shows up well in the "light" and helps to remind people that things are not always the way they look and that sometimes we have to look very carefully before we can drawn any conclusions.

What is the link between fog and the events of April 15?  Well, it goes back to being just outside city hall.  Much like many other things from April 15, there will be positives that I ean focus on and negatives as well.   The positive (well, mostly positive) experience that I associate with City Hall was the free runners' dinner.  Multiple types of pasta and meet. Much bread.  Good beverages.  Salad and dressing.  And when all was said and done a nice goody bag.  

While the dinner was excellent and it was very nice to have had a second straight dinner with Rob and Christian, there were also downsides even to the dinner. It was very chilly and the wind was whipping around fiercely.  We survived dinner, but it was not as care free as we would have hoped it could be.

If that had been my only memory of city hall and government center, then I would not have foggy memories of the City Hall area but only positive ones.  But I have another memory of city hall.

The fog comes mostly from one comment made by a kid in his late teens exiting the station at government center at the same time we did when we leave the T's green line after the explosions.  We had to leave the train as it had only been planned to go to government center.  Upon our arrival we were forced to ground level and the number of emergency vehicles with sirens blaring that passed by us was quite amazing.  We were just in a tizzy trying to figure out how to get back to the hotel without walking the whole way.  We figured a cab would work and not be too expensive for any one of us as there were three of us.  But it took a while to find a cab since there were a bunch of other people looking for cabs and city hall was not crowded that day since it was Patriot's Day and a holiday after all.

In any case, as we were walking away from the exit of the subway station, we heard a kid who said, "Run, run".  That was crystal clear.  The three of us together thought it was just some kid being a complete jerk.  This was especially true since there were friends with him who gave a nervous laugh.  

However, it was what came after that that truly made my head spin and the memory become foggy. I swear that the kid said, "Oh no.  Don't bother it is over."  Even if he did not use exactly those words, the three of us in our merry band from Baltimore agreed that it was a very strange thing for anyone to say.  We just figured the kid was being even more of a jerk than any of the three of us could have imagined.

So that is where the whole thing gets foggy to me.  When we saw pictures of the accused on Thursday it occurred to me that the picture looked an awful lot like the kid who had yelled to "run".  Had the person known something?  Had he been involved.  At the time, we didn’t stop him because we really yl

Will I ever know for sure if I was on the train, or in the train station, or even on the plaza with the accused bomber?  Probably not.  Not unless someone as part of the investigation puts together more or less a play by play of the kid’s actions and makes it available to the public.  That alone would be fairly disquieting.  And enough to put my mind in a fog about the trip away from the green line that afternoon and the post race experience generally.

It it also foggy to know whether we should have done anything else at the time.  In the end, I suppose we really did not have enough information to do anything more than to wonder just how much of a jerk the kid was.  If it was the accused bomber, then that tells me just how hard it can be to take action sometimes.  And how hard to even know whether to take action.

I did at least send an email to the FBI.  It turned out that the events of April 18-19 were beginning just as I sent the email, so it probably didn't make any difference.

It just left me even more uncertain.  Why did it matter where the guy was relative to me as long as I did not get injured?  And could I have done anything even if I had know?  Certainly nothing to change any of the relevant outcomes.

I don't have any idea what I thought the accused bomber being in the same space as me would have done for me.  He would not remember me any more than anyone else on the train. I was not a threat.  

It just leaves my memory of the day (particularly the area around city hall) in more of a fog than I ever would have imagined on a sunny and cool Monday morning.

I do have to admit to a huge sense of relief when it was announced that he was caught.  Even though I was not in direct danger, I just achieved satisfaction from knowing that is appeared that the authorities had things under control.  The sense of uncertainty leads to a fogginess that I found intolerable and distracting for at least the first week. 

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