New Yorkers in my cafe mock those who support Boston, scoff at casualties in some tragedy oneupmanship.
But, I suppose that is the way. Yesterday, I told a lady that I was feeling homesick. “Homesick?” she said. “My mother and her home were taken in a flood in New Orleans. I don’t have a home to be sick after.”
“But still,” I said. “I really miss my dog.”
When I heard about the Boston Marathon bombing I didn’t feel very much right away. Tragedies have been too common in the time since I’ve bothered to notice, so they do not evoke much straight away. Nobody I know, and nobody known by anyone I know, has been hurt or affected but for the shattering of their sense of security. I experienced the same shattering, suddenly, while sitting on the G train on my way home, as I realized that I now live in a city where things like this could happen, and, statistically, should happen.
It didn’t propel any change in me other than to make me want change in the areas I’m unhappy about, and to pursue the little happiness I’ve managed to mine from others, to maybe strike more from those rich veins.
I wanted to supply more happiness to more people. I had thought it was a fault to want to please others. I had thought to myself earlier that day, even, that I invest too much in others to really have anything left to invest in myself. “I am too giving,” I would say, if ever asked what my biggest weakness was. “I am too giving and so everybody always looks better than me, which is fine!”
It’s easy to blame selflessness for unfulfilled potential.
The worst thing that has happened to me lately is that I put my copy of Tender Is The Night on a puddle of something and so the top layer of the back cover is now stuck to the hardwood of my floor.
But I just bought that thing for ten dollars. So, that’s pretty bad, right?
Those people being killed and those others who now feel unsafe have reminded me of my mother and brother and father and sister and her son and husband and that there are people who matter who don’t live in this city and how it is important to let people know they matter to you and so I will tell them and you that they and you matter because if they and you went away so would everything else.