Boston, I love you. / by Chel Wolverton


Shock, pain and anger. They don't often come to me and certainly not in the form and way they arrived yesterday as I stood in Brookline waiting for two dear friends with another on and off Facetime so we could cheer them on. Someone I work with texted to ask if I were okay, I was confused why. And then he told me about the bombs. 

Everyone around me was still cheering for the runners. Everything turned surreal as the medical team's demeanor changed. They had been lax about people crossing the line along the race course, but no more. One team member held up a bag and when he didn't find the owner, suddenly men and women in fatigues telling us we had to go. I started walking towards the runners. I didn't know that they had stopped my friends yet so I kept walking until I knew. Every time I stood still another person in a uniform told me to keep moving.

Then the texts started - my brother, daddy, daughter, friends all frantically asking where I was, am I okay - my phone pinging incessantly as I rushed toward home in a daze.

I've spent most of the last 15 hours in bed. Absorbing what happened to my beautiful city.

I used the word terrorist yesterday. Not as a point to nationality or skin color, but because my city felt real terror yesterday.

Those at the finish line. They felt terror. Those injured at the bomb sites. They felt terror. The families of those who were killed. They felt terror. My friends felt terror as they were turned around about a block away from another potential bomb. They felt terror. And for many moments until I got away from the race path, I felt terror too.

Terrorism isn't defined by a dark-skinned person doing something bad. The word has been sadly overused by the media and our government in a fear-fueled cacophony to make us react.

It is a word that speaks about the events yesterday for me after seeing the fear in everyone's eyes.

This isn't to say that Boston isn't strong. Someone commented somewhere (I don't recall who) yesterday that they picked the wrong city to fuck with because we will fuck them back.

So hear this, terrorist:

We will find you. You already lost. We already beat you. We beat you yesterday when Boston opened their homes to the marathoners and we will beat you with every moment we run and/or cheer for runners in the years to come.

You can't take our heart, our love. Or make us fear our home. No matter how you try.