An excerpt from “Boston Darkens”

Boston or Bust

THERE WAS ONE more day before my trip to Boston. Most times it is less than an hour’s drive to Boston. When I would go to work in the morning, it could take me one and half to two hours.

It is a small and compact city. The thousands of college students, hospitals, and churches really promotes gridlock in the mix. Many of the high-tech companies like mine are in the outer section of the city. With the Atlantic Ocean acting as a buffer to the east, all traffic comes from the other parts.

There are a few roads, such as the Mass Pike, that are straight. Many of the other roads wind and turn. This is a challenge to the snowplows. Many of the roads date back hundreds of years. They follow cow or horse paths. I do not know if the cows and horses were in search of water or if they had a drinking problem. Like so many cities, Boston has too many vehicles to traverse the limited roads. I thought there was a divine reason to delay one more day.

Officer Ryan seemed like a straight shooter, but was he battle- tested? I knew whatever talent he had was better than anyone in our little collaborative. Like a finely tuned engine, we functioned as one.

Eventually we would run out of some necessities, but I felt we were faring better than most. The trip through Providence and to Connecticut was a harrowing one. In my gut I knew there could be worse challenges in Boston.

My head was swimming with multiple thoughts. Right now my family and neighbors had food, water, and basic survival resources. It was the unknown that frightened me. I had accomplished keeping my wife and son fed and protected. It was security that I needed to provide them. We’ve walked on eggshells. I had a real thirst to listen to more to the survival radio. The more knowledge I gained, the better for me to handle our own survival. Randy and Alice could easily break out of the fold again. I had to really laugh at myself. Jessica and Vivian were more battle-tested than Randy or probably Officer Ryan. During my trip to Boston, someone will have to ride shotgun.

The good, the bad, and the ugly seemed to come out of all of us during this crisis. Jessica was solidly behind me. I hoped that there would be a fairy-tale ending to this ongoing nightmare. Every father dreams of walking down the aisle with his only little princess. I had to wipe away a tear in my eyes. Why, Lord, do we have to have so much evil in the world? It was not only the terrorist but men who beat their wives and dogs. It was the corrupt politician, all the Internet scams, and all the salesmen selling snake oil. The list went on and on.

As I was from Nebraska, I liked to keep it simple. As I got older, I tried to get a little wiser. The greatest line I ever heard came from President Reagan. “Trust but verify,” he said. Damn, that says it all. Everyone’s mind wanders when we are put to the test. I was a Christian man. I had learned much. The Lord would not throw anything at you that you could not handle. Thinking about pleasant memories relaxes people. William was always mediating. He was so mellow. Funny he didn’t smoke pot, drink, or watch any kind of porn. I really respected him for finding that inner peace. To me, if there ever was a modern-day Moses, it would be him.

If a bad storm was headed our way, I could see him parting the Red Sea for us. He would keep it simple. He would say, “Follow me,” and give no other words. The power of a few simple words is better than a filibuster on the floor of Congress.

Men—we are such simple animals. Keep our belly filled and give us the touch of a female. Bingo, that’s the formula. I have tried to be a good husband at all times. Of course I looked at other females. Even President Carter has said he has had lust in his heart. He did not act on it, and neither have I. I really did miss Alice touching me. In time I was sure she would again. It had to be on her terms for it to feel natural. Now I was thankful to be alive. I was still dealing with that life I took. All the talk and condolences did not help.

It was only time. William had told me many times that our souls never die. Maybe in the heat of the moment, she chose the dark side. Before I slept, I touched my own Bible.

“Lord,” I said, “I really need you now more than ever. Please, Lord. Please, Jesus, give me strength.


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