Yesterday, while eating lunch, I finished reading a James Patterson novel. There were three serial killers in that one book, and I asked myself how likely it was that three people with so much evil in their hearts would be active in one community at one time. A few hours later I turned on the television for company while I gave Levi a haircut. Regularly scheduled programming was interrupted by news of the bombings at the Boston marathon. Now I had a new question: how much evil must be in the heart of someone who would do a wretched thing like that?
There were three bombs in Boston, including the one that didn't explode. It's being reported today that the bombs were built in pressure cookers and hidden in backpacks. That leads me to believe that more than one person is responsible. I understand that one backpack wouldn't have stood out among the many that were at the scene of the marathon, but one person with three backpacks might have drawn attention. It would also seem to increase the risk of exposure for one person to navigate the logistics of placing three bomb-laden backpacks in three separate locations--at least riskier than it would be for three separate individuals, each carrying one backpack, to unload their bombs.
So maybe James Patterson had it right. Maybe on any given day, in any given place, there are a number of people who are evil (or crazy) enough to murder remorselessly. Some of them use automatic weapons; some use shrapnel-filled pressure cookers. It's tragic no matter how it happens.
I watched the news for hours yesterday and again for a short while this morning. I won't watch continuous coverage any longer. I want to know about new developments, but I don't want to immerse myself in that overwhelming sense of sadness that was exploded into the atmosphere yesterday. It feels cowardly to admit that, because a part of me feels that if some people are forced to live through such a terrible event, I should at least have the courage to watch the news coverage.
I don't. I won't. I'll watch small snippets or read the latest reports online, and I'll pray for all those affected by this stupid, senseless, evil act of terrorism, but I won't succumb to the fear and hopelessness that the bomber(s) tried to instill in all of us.
I'm safe today. I'm comfortable. I have food, water, and shelter. In those ways I'm like most Americans--not all, but most. Also like most of us, I'm grateful, and I don't take my good fortune for granted.
We all took a hit yesterday, but it'll take more than a few sick f--ks to break our collective spirit.