Bombs went off in Boston at the Marathon.

What? Why? Who are you? What?

My friends live in Boston. I lived in Boston. People I love are in Boston. People I love went to Boston this week for the Marathon, for work, to see friends. My family will be in Boston this week.

I am in Hong Kong. I woke up to the sound of a text message from a friend saying, “Is Pete okay?” I got a text from Pete at 5 AM saying, “Im ok.” I didn’t understand. I said, “why? What happened?” And I expected the worst.

I looked through my entire facebook feed for updates. My college roommates are okay. My friends are okay. My teammates who run are okay. My friends and relatives who ran the marathon are okay. My mom emailed me with an update about everyone who’d gotten in touch with her. Thank you, all of you, for telling me. I love you.

I don’t want my friends to go to crowded places. Or talk to someone who might have a gun. Or leave their homes. But they have to. And I hope they will be okay. But really guys, stay in your house and don’t ever talk to strangers or go to popular locations. Concerts are out. So are parties. Definitely don’t do anything with more than 20 people. This is for all of you.

This isn’t supposed to happen.

There are plenty of uplifting messages about how people have great capacity for helping, for selfless sacrifice; most people are good, and run to give blood, pull people out of wreckage. There is a great article about how wonderful the marathon is, how it will never stop.

But I am upset.

What bothers me most is that people near the blast lost their legs. I cry for them. I couldn’t take it if I lost that. I would hate everyone for a long time.

There is also a terrible feeling that I am safer here in Hong Kong than I would be if I were in America. This feeling has been growing for a while. There are attacks in this part of the world, mostly in countries with a recent history of war or internal conflict. There was a knifing in a school in China a while back, and no one died. There have been multiple mass shootings in the past year in America. And now a bomb, in an event I encouraged people I care deeply about to participate in. I worry now.

I can’t do anything about it. I can’t stop it. I can’t help from here. I can donate to the red cross, but I can’t give my blood to the people who lost legs.

I feel impotent and horrified.

I wish I could make it stop. I wish I could go to Sunday night and punch the person who thought this was a good idea in the face and make it stop. I wish anything I can do would help. I wish I could hug my college roommates and sit on the floor eating takeout, listening to music.

This is awful.

One thought on “Boston

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  1. Jamie, you’re not alone. I have that same feeling that we are safer here in Asia than back in our home country and that makes me terribly sad and scared for my loved ones. I feel unable to help and terribly saddened about the outlook for this world (car bombs also exploded in Iran this morning killing 55). Senseless violence surrounds us. 😦

    But also remember that we human beings are a resilient people. If we succumb to living in fear, then we have lost a huge part of that humanity. Living our lives fully and freely is what we can do to overcome these terrible events, to show people who want to hurt us, or take that freedom away, that they cannot.

    I don’t know if this helps, but know there are people who are with you in this.

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