I honestly didn’t think much of my outfit this morning: black jacket, black ball cap, black sunglasses, and a backpack. But then I caught my reflection in a store window as I emerged from the subway . . . and I looked disturbingly familiar.
Everyone was looking for guys in backpacks after the Boston Marathon attack on April 15, 2013. Who could have known that pressure cookers in backpacks, not U-Hauls or airplanes, could cause such bloodshed? The act was done by the brothers, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, but we didn’t know them at the time. Until they were publicly identified, anyone with a pack and jacket was an instant suspect in the minds of terrorized citizens.
My reflection in that storefront window was disturbing to me. I looked like one of those random suspects wrongly pinpointed by media not seven months ago. But I was more concerned that I might make other commuters remember. I desired to get to work as fast as humanly possible.
I was never at the marathon on that horrible day, but I’ve worked and played in Boston for sixteen years. They caught Dzhokhar in Watertown, a wonderful place where I’d lived for many years. I cried when the cops finally found him. Terrorists aren’t like enemy troops in faraway lands. They come here to hurt you. After all these years, I’m still not sure if this has properly registered with me.
But I wish I’d worn a different outfit today.