The 20 Minute Jog Heard ‘Round The World

On Friday, I had planned to take the day off work. Emily and I were going to head into Boston in the morning to take pictures, and then go to Amanda’s dissertation defense in the afternoon. Right before I went to bed, we talked on the phone about what a positive day it would be, after an overwhelming, crazy week. I was excited to be able to sleep in until 7:00, which shows what an exciting life I lead.

At 6:50, I woke up to my phone ringing. I remember thinking, “Man, what are the odds? Ten minutes before I have to wake up?” before realizing that anytime the phone wakes you up, it’s probably bad news. It was the police chief telling us to stay inside during the manhunt and not to open our doors unless there was an identified police officer there. MANHUNT?

I had several text messages, all from friends asking what was going on. I had no idea. Let’s just say that I don’t have any pending job offers from CNN. I texted one of them back and asked HER what was going on, as I was turning on the news. One suspect was dead and the other was on the run. The governor shut down Boston and all surrounding towns.

“Your city is on the list, and you have to stay inside,” she told me. “And they’re doing door-to-door house searches.”

“What? Should I put pants on?”

“Yes. Put pants on.”

As it turned out, they were only doing door-to-door searches in the next town, where they felt confident the suspect was (and, SPOILER ALERT, they were right!). Another spoiler: I put pants on. And then proceeded to watch TV for 13 hours.

Something funny happens when this sort of thing shows up on everyone’s TV screen:


Everyone who didn’t live in one of those places contacted everyone that they know in one of those places. Just like Monday, it was very sweet, but it wasn’t quite as dramatic for those of us not in Watertown. I’ll be honest, initially my reaction was, “IS HE…IS HE BEHIND ME RIGHT NOW?” Hours later, it was pretty clear that we weren’t exactly in the line of fire. And by not exactly I mean NOT REMOTELY. There were roadblocks, a few helicopters, and the occasional siren, but they were in the next town. There was a whole lot of waiting around and TV-watching going on. Of course, being stir crazy was a good problem to have that day, given the possibilities.

Incidentally, the comments on the news about Watertown being a “small, ideal New England hamlet” were pretty funny. Pretty much everyone I know lived in Watertown after college. When I lived there, my neighbor used to park on her lawn and had a sticker on her front door telling people not to bother her. Don’t get me wrong, I loved it there, and I have great memories. But not of a SMALL, IDEAL NEW ENGLAND HAMLET.

Around 3:00, I needed a change of scenery, so I decided to go for a run, a quick 20 minutes after being stuck in the house for eight hours. No big deal, right?

HOLY CRAP, I’m surprised that it didn’t break into the already breaking news.

I heard several different versions of this over the course of the day:
“How’s it going?”
“Weird, but fine. Just stuck at home. Went for a quick run. You?”

And my family, forget it. This story will be told until the end of time. There are already jokes. You’d think I ran by the boat, instead of around the block. My mom’s final two cents: “And I don’t think you should even be running at all! You come from a family with bad knees, you know.”

I don’t mean to stand so firmly by my run, but I sort of do. My city was CRICKETS, you guys. And I gave it eight hours. The shelter in place was lifted altogether a few hours later. I refuse to see this as wholly irresponsible of me. But at the same time, I can’t not laugh at “Hey Red, I saw you slow jogging from the aerial shot on the news. Good form!”


8 Responses to “The 20 Minute Jog Heard ‘Round The World”

  1. 1 Stefanie April 22, 2013 at 8:52 am

    I’m with your mother. There was a nationally televised manhunt less than ten miles away from you! Also I don’t understand this “I was stir crazy cooped up for eight hours” business. Eight hours, Red? You’re a terrible hermit. I could happily not leave my house for days. DAYS.

  2. 2 Alicia April 22, 2013 at 8:59 am

    Please do take it as concern because that’s really what it was! And I love that your mom busts out the genetic bad knees as a reason not to run. I could also happily not leave my house for days but I do understand the difference between not leaving because you want to and not leaving because you can’t. The water in my building was out once for a couple of hours due to a water main break and all I kept doing was thinking of things that I wanted to eat that required boiling water first. If the water hadn’t been broken? Probably wouldn’t have cooked for days….

  3. 3 snarkatussin April 22, 2013 at 9:55 am

    … and you teach the children. What kind of example are you setting?! Honestly, though, I feel like we’ve been sequestered in Boston multiple times, between the blizzard and the manhunt. It’s as close to prison life, I personally want to experience…

  4. 4 EmilyEmily April 23, 2013 at 10:12 am

    I made your blog. Again. I’m honored. I thought your run was joke… I didn’t think you had actually done it. Eek. I felt odd just going to get the mail 20 feet away, and I’m 30 miles outside Boston. I’m glad we didn’t go into the city too early… by the time 9am Friday came around, I just kept thinking “We would have already been on public transportation and heading in to the city.” That’s some scary stuff. You’re loved – and people worry. Next time, come hunker down with us – we have snacks.

  5. 5 Greg June 9, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    Hi Red, I was going through some storage this morning a couple summer mixtapes… been listening to them all afternoon… good stuff… not sure I ever thanked you. Glad to see you’re still occasionally in the bloggosphere. Glad to see you were safe. Hope all is well.

    Greg formerly of what greg likes (2006 maybe?)

  6. 8 Lara January 31, 2014 at 12:24 am

    Ha! I’m way late to this party, but you are hilarious for going for a run during a manhunt. I’m glad you are safe. Let me know if you ever start blogging again. 🙂

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