Treva wrote the following piece to fulfill an assignment for a writing class she's taking. The assignment required her to use the alphabet as a structure for an essay on any topic. I'll let you make your own decision about the writing's merits, but I was deeply moved. I asked Treva if I could publish her work in my blog, and she reluctantly agreed because she didn't feel her efforts merited sharing with the public. She also reminded me that this is a draft and not a finished product.
Tom West would have appreciated this. I do too.... a lot!
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A BOSTON MARATHON PRIMER
by Treva Oocha
Annoyed Angry and frustrated. A beautiful spring day, the cherry blossoms’ perfumed scent adding another layer of beauty to the newness of spring; happiness and shooting sparks of adrenaline and lots and lots of beautiful people. For some, an adventure like none other. I can feel the heightened excitement all around me: water bottles, bright pink and blue tenny shoes, the new “in” thing-- florescent shoe laces, pink purple green, all so fun.
Black all black, more black. Courageous smiles backed by depths of sadness and fear and anguish. Unreasonable emotions that confront people not so much in the middle of the night but rather all day. Good byes that don’t make sense, 6 second loops that play over and over. If only… and god damn fucking to hell why oh why…?
We got them, we have the suspects, our technology, isn’t it great? Thank god for cameras. Somehow the victory seems not so much like a victory. It’s hard to put big emotions into a 24 hour day, emotions that are so conflicted.
We will scour the earth for the rest of them. What if there are other “theys”? We all know that there are lots of other “theys". We pretend to live an American life where we are free, where we are safe, where the bad guys always get caught. But in a moment, all the badness overwhelms me. I’m bat shit scared….more scared than when my dad handed me a loaded .38 and dared me to shoot myself, more scared than when he took the gun and cocked the trigger and aimed at my head….that was scary, but now there is more fear, more pretending that I’m an American free.
Eager, Fear, Greedy
They stole from us, their greediness their need to prove something. The idiots, they had no exit strategy, only hatred in their hearts, and minds good enough to make a bomb. To be so bound up with meanness. How do you make up words to define this horrible crime? I can’t find any, and my tears seem to lack strength. They walked among us, this beautiful sunny day. They were one of us, they walked by a small child knowing in seconds if their plan worked this child and others would be blown up. Just writing this makes me gasp, the horror so great, and in my own ignorance I wish everyone who is middle eastern or who doesn’t have an American name would just go home go home: go on just git. I’ll use all my money to send everyone back, one-way tickets here we come. My own ignorance and fears would make everyone a victim.
Hidden, Innocent, Jumpy
Blood on the boat’s deck, a tarp, he was wounded, bleeding, self inflicted they say, no one wanted to read him his rights. What rights? If one more person says ‘innocent until proven guilty,’ I’m going to scream. I hate our justice system. Who came up with all these rules, these policies? Do we have to feed him?
Kill, Lemonade, Misery
The day was sparkling in its spring sunshine, healthy beautiful people of all ages wearing cool looking tenny shoes . Muscular bodies, the serious runners whose legs bulge and their calves look like they’re made of steel… sun screen lots of sun screen, a handsome guy in a cowboy hat, tee shirts and lots and lots of spandex. An American flag waving, an explosion at first mistaken for fire works, another explosion, and then chaos. Where to run? Where is safety? What is safety? Movie stars and actors get to go home when the movie is over but no one gets to go home this very fine spring day.
Napping, Outrageous, Prosecutor
Homeland Security was involved, and the FBI and Swat and the army and President Obama, and men in tanks running over the bright-colored shoe laces of a person, of a human being, a stranger. A sterile room with guards, a man, an evil man being guarded. I wonder if he knows that just down the hall, in rooms not far from his, are the victims of his handiwork? But no, he naps because he’s injured, while we need to know why, why-what-how, when did blowing up people seem to you like a good idea? How can you stroll down a sunny bright beautiful day with that kind of plan in store?
Questions, Regrets, Surprise, and Spirituality.
I wonder how they will treat him? Special interrogators have been sent to find out the reasons why? We are a world on alert. If I were a nurse, am I supposed to feed him, and take care of him, make sure he has enough pain meds to keep him comfortable? My mind spins, I suffer my own sensory overload as I think about the duties of the nurse or the oath a doctor takes. First, do no harm. My mind does summersaults and I become breathless, a panic attack I think. My thoughts are counteracted by the strength, the ungodly strength of the people affected. They have stood up strong and proclaimed their strength, evil will not make us hide! There will be another Marathon, and we might be afraid but we won’t let that fear immobilize our hearts or our spirits.
Time, Urgency, Victory
Time, lots of sweet time. I work on my gratitude list. Somehow my gratitudes are more real, more hopeful, and more thankful. I can’t hurry my grief, my sadness over this horrible event, I can only try to give more love to the people whose lives I touch on a daily basis. I can only try and sort out my feelings so I don’t take my anger out on others. For anger really is the child of fear. I must quell my own heartache. And keep giving goodness to the river of humanity.
What I would like to do to him would be x-rated, what a lot of us would like to do would be horrible. But because we are Americans and good people we will keep our honor-values-ideals and see he gets a trial and with any luck at all we will be safe for another day…until I guess ‘crazy’ makes another appearance.
I promise myself that next year I will run again, and not for my life…but rather for the joy of running. It will be a bright and sunny day and I will wear the zaniest colorful pink tenny shoes I can find…