My eyes are red because I couldn't sleep very well last night. I kept thinking of what happened at the marathon. I kept seeing those images from the Boston Marathon, the ones of the runners lying on the ground, the people crying, and the police officers rushing to help them. But most of all, I thought of the eight year old child who was killed. And thinking of that child made me cry.
This morning I went grocery shopping, and all around me I could hear horns honking, drivers yelling, the train clanking on the tracks nearby, dogs barking, and people chatting on the sidewalks. The normalcy of it all failed to soothe me. Instead I wondered how the neighborhood could seem so ordinary when everything else in the world seemed to be so chaotic.
I went into the grocery store and walked into the produce department, and the bright colors of the fruits and vegetables nearly blinded me. That's when I realized I was crying again, and I had to go home.
I feel sad about what happened, even though I don't know anyone who was at the marathon. I feel sad for the people who saw what happened, the people who were killed or injured, and their families. I feel angry, too, because I can't help thinking of how much hate, fury, and pain a person or people can be filled with that can motivate them to do this. Nothing justifies what they did. Nothing.
I feel scared, too, because I live in a major metropolitan city, and I work on college campuses. What if something like that happened here? There have been many shootings and other violent incidents in Chicago; usually they're gang-related or "domestic disputes". At one school where I used to teach, someone once called in a violent threat, which turned out to be fake. I was on the bus yesterday and for one panic-stricken moment I thought a guy had a gun in his pocket. But he pulled out a water bottle and started drinking from it, and it made me realize how all the violence that has occurred lately has put me on edge.
But there is one good thing that has come out of all this. Maybe it's selfish of me to say this, but I'm grateful to be alive. I'm grateful for all the things I took for granted before as well as all the things and people that are important to me. It doesn't take away all of my fear, sadness, and anger, but it helps me keep things in perspective.
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