Life During Lockdown

by Andrew Osborne

My wife and I woke to WBUR on the clock radio and immediately discovered our city was on lockdown.  Most businesses were closed, most classes were canceled, and public transit wasn’t running.  The citizens of neighboring Cambridge had been ordered by the governor to “shelter in place,” and we in Somerville were also strongly advised to stay indoors and not open our doors to anyone but uniformed police while the authorities threw a dragnet over the city for the surviving Marathon bomber.

After a morning reminiscent of 9/11, glued to moment-by-moment coverage on TV and the internet, it seemed the authorities were concentrating on house-to-house searches in Watertown and the suspects’ apartment in Cambridge.  By late afternoon, Amy and I had cabin fever (and no food in the house), so we ventured out to see if any stores or sub shops were open.

Walking outside, we realized the terrorists had ruined the first truly warm day of spring.  We also realized the city was silent, like it gets during a blizzard.  We wondered if maybe it wasn’t such a hot idea to be outside after all.  We felt like townspeople on the empty main street in a Western just before high noon, or the Walking Dead gang creeping through a neighborhood scavenging for supplies.

But then we saw a dude in Lycra biking and figured it was okay.  And as we rounded the corner, we saw other Somervillains creeping out and realized most of the businesses in Teele Square were open.  I grabbed subs in a pizza place with continuous news updates on the radio and a quiet bunch of patrons who pretty much knew what everyone else in the joint was thinking about.  The young counter guy said he graduated from Cambridge Rindge & Latin High School the same year as Dzhokhor A. Tsarnaev.  “Crazy,” we both agreed.

Otherwise, Teele Square seemed relatively normal, until I noticed news crews and police tape.  A block was cordoned off, and I had a sinking feeling I knew why.  Then one of the neighborhood Sullys confirmed it was the street where slain MIT policeman Sean Collier had lived.  I’d probably seen the baby-faced 26-year-old officer at the local sub shop or the liquor store or getting breakfast sandwiches at Magnificent Muffin.   According to news reports,  he’d been a real sweetheart and played on a kickball team called Kickhopopotamus.

Amy and I went back home and ate subs and watched Dzhokor’s relatives on TV screaming how the Marathon fugitive had either been framed or fallen victim to the evil lure of violent extremism.

As of this posting, the bomber’s still at large, and technically we’re still on lockdown.

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3 Responses to “Life During Lockdown”


  1. 1 jim April 19, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    I await more…

  2. 2 Jim April 19, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    Nice, Blizblorne… Glad you and the Mrs. are okay…

  3. 3 Eleanor Osborne April 19, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    There is a film here!


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