Right before I was about to head out to a meeting today I happened to see breaking news from the Atlantic on my Twitter feed. It said something about an explosion at the Boston Marathon. It was the beginning of the horrible news of the day. As when the attacks on NY occurred, I found myself unable to turn away. To stop looking. At one point in the morning I became the purveyor of incorrect internet news regarding what had happened. This included informing my significant other of the shutdown of the city’s cellular network and a third bombing site at the JFK Library.
As the day wore on and I sat in meetings discussing what, to me, seemed like inane topics with no real meaning, I snuck peeks at my news feed. I spent the morning wondering what the hell was wrong with everyone. Just carrying on like nothing had happened. Like bombs hadn’t exploded in the middle of an American city. Like people hadn’t died. As if the entire newscast wasn’t filled with words like shrapnel and amputations. So I spent the morning angry at everyone around me because of my perception that they just didn’t care. Or wanted to ignore it. Or, I don’t know what.
The other part of me really, really needed a hug. After the twin towers in NY, I found myself hugging a woman I did not know at all at a work meeting. I couldn’t help it. I almost did it again today. I had to drop off a contract to a woman who I only know through work. I had actually left my morning meeting at her office in my distracted state and forgot to drop the contract off to her. I got in touch with her and told her I’d circle back. I apologized when I finally hooked up with her. I admitted that the Boston incident was distracting me and that I just got out of the meeting and left the building. She took the contract and I went to wait for the elevator. She came out into the lobby as I was getting on. She asked if I had family in Boston. I said no NY and asked if she did. She said no but that she had gone to school in Boston and had lived there. And we just had a moment. I could have hugged her right then. And I actually almost did hug her when I was handing over the contract (I actually felt like I had to restrain myself from doing so). I can’t understand why everyone isn’t just hugging today. Maybe if there was more hugging, there’d be less of what happened today going on in the world. I didn’t fulfill my hugging needs till I got home to my eight year old. By that time, I felt like it was too late. And really, I should have hugged contract girl today. Hug first, ask later. Maybe I am part of the problem.