My phone beeped at 3:56 p.m.
“I heard about the bomb in Boston,” my cousin’s text message read. “Sal and I want to make sure you are all okay!”
“The what?” I texted back.
I was 300 miles away, helping my sister get acclimated to her house after my niece was born three days earlier.
I texted back: “The what? We’re in Jersey…”
Bomb? What bomb?
I clicked to boston.com but there was nothing obvious to see.
I turned to Twitter.
Because I’m purposefully following more news organizations than individuals these days, it took me seconds to find the facts and digest what I was reading.
There were tweets from the Boston Globe and the BBC about explosions near the finish line. I saw tweets about severed limbs and blood and short quotables from eyewitnesses who weren’t quite sure what they saw but that an individual or group attacked the city.
When the bombs exploded Monday, I didn’t have to research the location. I’d walked that stretch of Boylston Street countless times. Over the years, I’d stood nearby and watched the runners cross the finish line.
Raised south of Boston, I essentially grew up in the city. My home was 30 minutes away and I drove in or took the train with family and friends hundreds of times during my formative years.
I know Boston very well. I know it the way every local knows it: how to drive the back ways, where to park cheaply all day, which bar has the best TVs to watch the Celtics and the Sox.
I was blown away when I received that text. I was blown away when I saw those tweets. And I’m very curious who this bastard is.