When I was a kid, no one ever knew what to give me as a present. They all knew I liked to read, though. So I would get books. Like the kind you would buy in bulk or find on the remainder table. Because it was too hard to ask what I liked to read. And people assumed that I would just read anything.
Well, yeah, they were right. I would read anything. One year, I got a book called “The Girl Who Wanted to Run the Boston Marathon.” And, it turned out, it was about lupus. (Yes, yes, I know, it’s *never* lupus. This time it was.) So the whole book was a massive downer. The girl was really a twenty-something woman, healthy as could be, who suddenly develops lupus and winds up in the hospital. And while she’d been prepping and ready to run the marathon, she’s stopped by this disease. But it all seems to be getting better, and she’s thinking she can run it, when, about ten pages from the end, she suddenly slips into delirium, becomes convinced the hospital is one fire, and jumps from the window, killing herself. And, yes, this was a YA novel. (Anyone else ever read it?)
Why am I thinking about that? I think you all know why. Because when tragedy strikes, it often reminds us of something else. And I mean no disrespect to the dead and wounded of the Boston marathon. I’m not comparing them to this fictional character who had a tragedy. But we so often connect to events through fiction, and to me, this book is the Boston marathon incident. It’s something that should have been good, but instead turned into tragedy. In the case of the book, it was something that just happened – in real life, someone made it happen. But is it really all that different?
So far, no one has claimed responsibility for the bombing. It’s just a random act of violence. Something that was inflicted against innocent people who were just going about their day, or in some cases, participating in something “bigger” than themselves.
I didn’t hear about it when it first happened. I was in meetings all day, and then someone came in and asked, “Did you hear about the Boston marathon?” And I could guess from her face that it was not exactly good news. But I hadn’t gathered how bad it was until I got back to my hotel room and could actually watch it on the news, see how horrific it was.
So while my heart and my thoughts go out to the people involved, I don’t want to say anything else about it beyond that because I don’t want the people responsible to get the pleasure of reading about the affect of their actions. I don’t think they should get to know how it makes people feel, beyond the physical suffering they can see. They can make us feel the suffering, but they can’t get my feelings to bolster their ideology.