By Chance

I was there with a friend three-plus hours into the 2013 Boston Marathon. We squeezed in with the crowds and joined them in cheering for these determined strangers. We shouted louder when a soldier marched past, laden with a full backpack. We laughed at the utter disregard for open container laws. There was so much energy and excitement.

We got to the finish line and took pictures of the runners, who looked exhausted but jubilant. I remember telling my friend, "Look, some of these guys have been running for almost four hours!" Then we wandered off. I went home, kissed Fiancé hello, and sat down on the couch to read. Moments later, he yelled, "WTF?" and told me to turn on the TV.

The scenes shown were unbelievable. I was just there, literally at that spot. If my friend and I had hung around for another fifteen or twenty minutes, we would have been caught in the blasts.

As I watched the news, I kept thinking about how there were so many people. The sidewalks were packed when we left. There were children and pets everywhere. The only bright side was that the explosions occurred near the medical response teams.

There are three dead and over a hundred injured. By chance, my friend and are I am not among them. By chance, we decided to leave when we did. By chance, we didn't go into a store, or do anything else that would have kept us there.

Holy shit.

The casualties were mostly spectators, but we checked in with the runners we knew. Our friend finished and left before it happened. There were runners for the place where I interviewed last week, so I emailed my interviewer to say that I hoped everyone was fine. She replied that they were all safe. At our gym, the trainers and members who ran were apparently all okay.

I'm relieved. It really does hit you hard when it strikes close to home. I love Boston, and this is some fucking bullshit, pardon my French. I'd donate blood, but (a) they already have enough, and (b) no one wants anything that came from my third world veins. Well then, thoughts and prayers it is.

In conclusion: Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert pay tribute to Boston following the bombing