22 April 2013


... a ghost city...
I don't even know where to start with this.  This week has been the most... well, I don't know.  I want to say surreal, but that doesn't feel right.  It's just been weird, I guess.  The Boston Marathon was last Monday.  If you haven't experienced Marathon Monday in Boston, then there's no way to explain it besides categorizing into three groups - runners, supporters, and drunks.  Sometimes the last two are one in the same.  A marathon of a different kind, if you will.  But then there were bombings.  There was shock, then grief, then anger.  Then people started to go back about their business by the end of the week, when then there were shootings, a day-long manhunt, and a city-wide lock down.  We all stayed cooped up in our houses/apartments/dorms/offices and waited, until finally, the lock down was lifted, and a 19-year old kid was taken into custody.

While Boston breathed a collective sigh of relief, and flooded the streets to celebrate, clapping cops on their backs, raising their glasses to them, and chanting "Boston Strong" and "U-S-A" in turns, I thought of what an incredibly awful day it had been.  Not only for the people killed/injured and their loved ones or the people who had been stuck who knows where during the lock down, but also for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a 19 year old boy, who had just had the worst day of his life.

Bombings aside, possible guilt of terrorism aside, here was a kid who had in just one day seen his brother killed in front of him, been accused of terrorism, hunted (the term "hunt" hardly covers the extremity of this search) by all of the Boston Police Dept., injured, and then finally found and taken into custody, all on top of deprivation of basic human things like sleep, food, drink, etc.  I know what it feels like to be exhausted after having not slept in two days, but on top of that, this kid hadn't eaten, had a bathroom, had water to drink, and then everything else.  Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if for that one moment he was glad to be found, just for the bed and other basic amenities the hospital offered.  I have no doubt that even if he is one day given a death sentence for the crimes he has been accused of committing, that day cannot be worse than the day he had on Friday.  The emotional toll of being given a death sentence is, I'm sure, awful, but on Friday he endured both emotional and physical damage, and I can't even imagine going through all that.  And at 19?  He's only a kid.  For these reasons, my heart goes out to him a little.

Disagree with me.  Tell me he deserves every bit of it.  Fine.  But he's still human.  And just the thought of imagining myself having to go through the day he did makes me incredibly sad.  I can't even fathom how awful the day was for him, while we all bitched about being locked indoors with food, and bathrooms, and beds, and television, and all the comforts of home.  Perspective.  It's a big old slap in the face, huh?  Be grateful for what you have, and feel a little bad for this kid who just went through hell, only to lose everything at the end of it.  Mourn for those who were lost, but also mourn for this boy who lost in another way.
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