Despite the fact that the wind was reasonably gusty at times, conditions proved to be impossible for me to ride. There was no opening, no longer a good route to follow, no familiar decent place to ride anywhere, at any location.
After arriving at the bike garage, I realized I couldn’t even get near to the Philips Brooks statue to perform my routine devotional prayer. So, I lifted my dear scooter up for the prayer at the side of the garage pillars and repeated the Lord’s Prayer.
The wind was strong at that corner and I failed to sustain the balance above my chin to finish the ‘Amen’.
It was mostly walking.
Walking with my scooter and plastic bag.
Walking while looking for an opening.
Walking around the wide corners filled with people.
I was experiencing a solitary march with the music playing in my ears, in a wide circle around the now distant Trinity Church.
I proceeded down Huntington St. to the Christian Science Center.
Some wind and ride there.
Then, I continued up Mass Ave. past Berklee College of Music,
past Auditorium Station, past Newbury St. and down over craggy pavement, broken surfaces, gritty stoney sidewalks. These conditions were so bad, so disappointing for any kind of scooter-ride, so unaccommodating. So impassible at times that I was forced to carry the scooter for blocks till I reached the Charles River.
I thought to try some short pushes along the Esplanade.
But, predictably consonant with what I was experiencing, the wind direction was predominantly against me so I continued to walk.
Walked along the bike path.
Walked past a few people enjoyed a riverside picnic.
Walked past a few practicing their own performance skills at balancing on a short tightrope.
When I walked along the wide open area along the lagoon, it was then that I cast my gaze over towards the Hancock Tower.
There was a cloud of smoke rising above the Back Bay buildings which I thought might be from a apartment fire somewhere over there.
Further along, when I could look up the cavernous route along Dartmouth Street, the main tent in front of the Boston Public Library became clearly visible. This trail of the same smoggy plume by this time resembled the kind of smokey fog after Chinatown’s New Years’ firecrackers. It still didn’t concern too terribly much. Just a curious incidental part of the event over there.
With the music still playing in my head, just continued my progress around the Hatch Shell, then out onto Arlington Street, a bit up Comm Ave, over to Newbury St. again, then back down to Arlington. No chances whatsoever to ride.
I followed back to Stuart St.
I finally caught a few rides on Clarendon in front of the garage and the Post Office.
Started to notice that there were a lot of ambulances and sirens here and there. More came with minutes passing.
Yet, I was still enjoying a few rides here and there myself as the crowds began to thin.
They were beginning to be on their cell-phones.
There seemed to be fewer smiles. There were these blank stares on people.
Why weren’t they responding to my antics?
Why were they all so quiet, sitting or standing along the streets?
Why such intense police activity and strange stares from volunteer workers?
Finally made it back to my bike realizing that it wasn’t going to be any better ride. Decided time to go home.
It was then that Bill, my postal carrier friend of many years, paused with me. He took me aside and asked if I had heard the blasts. “Oh, of course, you had your earphones on!” was his reaction when he learned that I was ignorant of the terrible event that had just occurred.
I felt dumbfounded.
Maybe, more, I felt clueless, dumb, plain and simple.
Maybe, now, I’m struck dumb.
Confronted by this new situation, it was clearly Time To Go Home.
Dumb and numbed, I rode home.