By: Mia L. Hazlett
Routine and normalcy, two things I cherish most about my 9 to 5. I come to work and go home. What fills the hours in between; well that’s where my flexibility shines. Nevertheless, once I leave, I count on routine. I count on being home by 5pm to get my daughter off the bus, especially on Mondays when we rush around to get her to her softball games on time. Not this Monday, this Monday of April 15, 2013 was different. I continued to wear my flexibility cape, even though I was no longer in my office. It was Marathon Monday and apparently, no one had told me that the Sox game was not starting at three, but letting out.
The shuttle slowed to a stop a good quarter-mile from the parking garage, it wasn’t allowed to go any further and take us to our stop. Oh how I hate detours! The streets from Beth Israel Hospital to the parking garage, were nothing but traffic jams, pedestrians, and traffic cops. I weaved in and out of the fans, who treated the streets and sidewalks as their personal photo studio. By the time I reached my car, it was already past 3:30pm. Now I had to drive through all of these people.
I inched down the street, honking occasionally, only to be flipped off and then having to return the gesture, but sometimes the car in front of me carried out the familiar Boston tradition. But as I inched to the intersection, my Boston temper began to surface, this was the third friggin’ cop I had seen talking on his phone and then calling his blue buddies over. What the hell? There was traffic to direct here! And they need to do it now, because someone wasn’t letting an ambulance through somewhere, because the siren was continuous. I had heard it since I started walking.
By the time I hit 24, I was home free. I could still make it home in time to get my daughter to her game. I tucked away my flexibility cape and switched back to my normal commute home. I was off only by 15 minutes. It wasn’t until I was near Bridgewater that I realized my normalcy existed, but somewhere it did not. My entire ride, I noticed nothing but flashing statee cars headed towards Boston. Every minute until I got off the highway near the Cape, a state police cruiser was headed towards Boston.
My daughters’ father was watching the kids and reached me by phone about ten minutes before I arrived home. My phone had been tucked behind my purse, and apparently I hadn’t heard my mother calling or received the three “Are you okay?” texts awaiting me. He asked if I was okay and if I made it out. I began to unload about the stupid shuttle making us walk and I knew I was a little…he interrupted, “A bomb or maybe two or three went off at the marathon. Are you okay? I didn’t think you would be coming home and would probably have to stay at work. I was going to take the girls to your mother’s house because I just got called into work.”
Comprehension of what he was saying didn’t exist as my oblivion bubble burst. I pulled into the driveway adding everything together: all the cops on their phones, the ceaseless siren- well sirens, and all the way home, the state police rushing to Boston. A bomb? Was this 9/11 all over again? How close was I when this all happened? What if there were more? There were so many people in the streets at Fenway. Did I need to go back to work? What would I be able to do? Surely, the medical geniuses I worked for didn’t need me for my expertise in stopping bloody noses and washing scraped knees. Although utter chaos assaulted me, this was Monday. Mondays are softball games. Right now, even though I could answer none of the questions racing through my head, my brain could exist in chaos, but my body had to pull off normalcy.
My ex dropped our daughter off at her game and I dropped our other daughter off at my parent’s house. I tried to call people at work, but got no answers. What I was going to do, go back to work or stay home, was abruptly answered by my daughter’s normalcy. Before I could leave to her sister’s game, she asked me if someone had been shot? I stood motionless, “What?” She looked up at me with an innocence, which was contradicted by her question, “Daddy got called into work, so did someone get shot?” I answered honestly, “No. No one was shot.” I had to allow normalcy to win in the face of this chaotic tragedy. With my brain and body synced to normalcy, I went and watched my daughter win her softball game.
© 2013 Mia L. Hazlett