Last week I had the slightest taste of what Boston went through on Friday. A cop came to my house in my one-horse town of Galena, MD and asked me if I’d seen a guy in shorts and a tee-shirt running around my flower farm. I said no, why? And he said a guy jumped out of a truck on a routine traffic stop and ran off into the woods. He said they had a police helicopter out looking for him, and soon I heard the whir of the engine overhead. I kept imagining the guy in the woods ducking behind trees, hiding behind boulders. The cop asked me to open my garage door to see if the guy was hiding in there, and then he went on his way. I locked all my doors and windows (though it was a sunny day, in the seventies). And then I had to leave to go to work. Later, I found out that the guy was harmless enough, running from a ticket for dumping oil illegally. He was now holed up in a friend’s house.
So when all of Boston had to be on lock-down, in this miniscule way, I could relate. I understood what it was like to have this unknown threat outside, not knowing what he was capable of. . . No one knows the extent of evil–if that is what that 19-year-old Boston Marathon bomber embodies. When they found the kid in the boat, it struck me that they waited until dark to flush him out. They waited until they could shine the light on him, goodness bearing down on darkness, evil. It made for excellent TV. But this isn’t TV. And we’ve long since moved beyond black and white. The world is increasingly dangerous, complex and grey. That 19-year-old’s (and 26 year old’s) parents are in shock–still in a state of denial. No way could their two boys have done something as heinous as this. But they were their boys. Their babies. And they saw the light in them.