Maybe it's because this reminds me of September 11. The city was silent then, and everything was closed, and military planes circled and circled overhead, and it stayed that way for days, and none of us really knew how to look at each other or what to say. I read certain sections of Gravity and Grace over and over again. About a week after, when my husband (then my boyfriend) and I walked past a vigil at St. John the Divine, I broke down. I sat on the floor of the elevator in his building, and I sobbed and sobbed.
Maybe it's because Boston is like that. Maybe it's because I am a silly inconsistent woman. I don't really know.
When I first found out yesterday evening, I was in the office of the childbirth education studio. I was supposed to start teaching in 5 minutes. It was the last class of a 6-week cycle, meant to be an uplifting, warm, and emotionally powerful class. I did not think I could do it. My eyes kept filling with tears, and I was frightened. "We should all be at home," I kept saying to myself, "We should all be at home." Why were stores open? Why were the subways working? Shouldn't we all be at home? Would there be circling planes?
The expecting couples entered the studio, chatting happily. No one said anything about Boston. Had they not heard? I said nothing about it. I taught the class, hugged them all goodbye, wished them luck on their journeys. I went home. I was feeling so much better that I ate two helpings of dinner and two helpings of dessert, and then caught up on Project Runway before going to bed.
Someone texts me, a number I don't know.
I hope she doesn't have children. I hope she hasn't yet heard about Boston. I hope she is not afraid. I want to keep talking to her, but that would be crazy. I put the phone down.
I woke up this morning crying and babbling about evil. My husband lifted his head and looked at me blearily. "I'll get up in 2 minutes," he said, "I just want to sleep a little more." "One of them was a baby," I told him. "8 years old," he answered, and went back to sleep. Once he was properly awake, he was lovely and sympathetic. He hugged me and agreed with everything I said. "We're targets," I said, "Here in New York. We're targets all the time." He did not tell me I was being melodramatic. He told me that he would drive downtown to work today instead of taking the train.
I'm sad. I'm so sad that my bones are sad. I want to send text messages to all of my friends and acquaintances to tell them that I'm sad, but I know that that would be strange and silly, so I won't do it. I keep checking Facebook and Instagram and Twitter, hoping to find that more people have liked my posts, because I want to feel connected. I've seen lots of people so far today, but I haven't told anyone aside from my husband about my sad sad bones.
Things are falling out of my brain, random pieces of whateverness. My mind is open, wide open, not at the top such that things come in, but rather at the bottom such that everything is just sliding out, sliding down my spine, a slimy puddle of my thoughts on the floor. If my dog were here, I don't think he would eat it.
This is one of the things that has fallen out of my brain, an interaction from days (weeks?) ago:
"Well I dislike that."
Of course, I had to be ill-natured with my children, impatient to leave them with the babysitter. Of course, I could not decide what to wear. It seemed very important.