Tag Archives: tragedy

This Is Not Creative Writing

As you may or may not know, today is Patriot’s Day, a holiday that is only celebrated within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the state that I call home. This holiday, observed on the 3rd Monday in April, commemorates the Battle of Lexington & Concord, the inciting conflict of the American Revolutionary War. In the Boston area, it’s recognized as an official state holiday, closing all businesses (and causing lots of complications on public transportation).

This has less to do with the Battle of Lexington & Concord, however, and more to do with the Boston Marathon, which sees every single citizen of the Greater Boston Area pay tribute to the occasion by intensely daydrinking along the race route.

And so “Marathon Monday,” as we locals so affectionately call it (because of the marathon daydrinking, of course; not because of the race), is one of the most highly anticipated days in the Boston calendar. The city descends into utter chaos as everyone commits themselves body and soul to the celebration of booze and America, and also booze.

And so today, free from the scheduled restrictions of my day job, I planned to accomplish a number of things, including write for this website, rather than my usual Marathon Monday routine of drinking 27 PBRs at various locations along Beacon Street throughout Brookline. Unfortunately, my plans for the afternoon were derailed once I came across the news that two bombs had been set off near the finish line on Boylston Street in the Back Bay, claiming the lives of (at this point) 2 people (including a god damn 8 year child) and injuring more than 50 others.

This all less than 4 miles from the house that I own with my partner.

So, you know, I’m rather flummoxed, to say the least. Bevin and I are safe within our home, but we are both rather freaked out right now, in a way that I have never felt before (certainly there have been greater American tragedies within my lifetime, but none so literally physically close to home).

And so I am submitting this entry because the time it takes for me to type these words offers a very momentary respite from the heartbreaking horror of what has happened here in my home city. The plans I had for today’s post shall hopefully make their way into the world next week, but for now, I hope that you and all of your loved ones are safe and well, and I (ever so agnostic despite my heavily Catholic upbringing) pray for the good fortune of those who have been directly affected by this horrible act.

Three Words

When I say, “How are you?”
I wish it would suffice, and
that I didn’t have to explain
what I actually mean, which
is, essentially,
                           “How have the other
aspects of life been since
I last saw you, excepting the obvious
and pressing situation of
a passionate and talented man
whose life was cruelly ripped away
from him, as well as from the rest of us,
which of course is the reason
that we’re all gathered here in
the first place right now, otherwise
I probably wouldn’t be seeing you
at all, but I am really glad to
be seeing you right now — not glad
because of the circumstances under
which I am seeing you here now
for the first time in a while, but glad
because you are a person
whose company I do quite enjoy even
though we’ve never been, like, super close
or anything, and I know we’ve never
been very good about keeping in touch
either, but that’s just how life goes
some times, so I want you to know
that I do want to know

how you are— again, obviously, other
than, well, ya know, the obvious
although I suppose that contributes
fairly significantly to your general state
of being, and understandably so — but I
guess what I’m trying to say is
that I don’t just mean it as a shallow greeting
that somehow feigns my sincerity, it’s
a question that I actually mean and
there is an answer that I would actually like
to receive — specifically, from you — but not just you,
obviously, there’s other people here
who I am excited to see, not excited excited
like happy because of this occurrence —
but right now I am talking to you, and I
hope to continue talking to you, whether
it’s about work, or your love life, or your new
band, or the last good book you read
that you think I might enjoy (not that I’m trying to
be selfish by seeking out things that I might
enjoy, just, ya know, offering up conversation,
interactions, personally meaningful dialogues
on both ends), all of those things which are
implied under the general auspices of

‘How are you?’ when the question is
posed in a less-tragic setting,
unlike the unfortunate kismet that
has reunited us at the present,
so I guess what I’m asking is

how could you be if you hadn’t
lost a friend so violently, so suddenly, even
though I realize that’s a rather integral part
of your greater life conditions and I wish I had
the chance to see you now under
better stipulations but life’s not
always fair as recent happenings
clearly and painfully show.”

How are you?