David tries to get my attention, waving his hand in my face, as a person may sometimes do when checking to see if someone can see. I don’t know what spontaneous blindness has to do with spontaneous deafness, but either way, I have neither. I admit, I am ignoring him, my mind is elsewhere. Perhaps it’s the anticipation for the movie we are waiting in this theater to watch, or maybe it’s that I am too into reading about it on my phone.
“I’m sorry, what?” I respond, as I look over at him in the next seat. It’s early, and the world is either at school or work, leaving the theater to us. There are no crying babies, seat-kicking children, or cellphone answering teens to disrupt the movie, not to mention, it’s cheaper.
“Boston, next month, are you coming?”
“Dude, I told you already! I can’t…I,” I turn to look at the screen, currently showing advertisements, as I attempt to avoid eye contact with David, “I’m not going to Boston again.” Now I remember why I started ignoring him. He’s been bugging me about this trip for weeks, and each time I tell him, I had a bad experience there that I don’t care to relive, and the next day, he acts as if he was suddenly struck with amnesia and asks the same question.
He continues to ask me what happened and I wonder if I can tell him, if he’d judge me, or worse, if he’d laugh, but I push the thoughts aside, and give in to telling the story. I tell of how, while in Downtown Boston, I heard a car crash and an explosion and in the distance, I could see fire rising over a crowd of people running toward it, and what sounded like yelling to stop.
“So you ran away and now you’re afraid to go back?” he asks, snickering a little.
“No! Actually, I ran toward it, while I called 9-1-1. I mean, I was afraid, but still, I ran to to the accident instead of away. I told the operator what I had heard, before the call dropped, and while I tried to get a signal, I heard sirens. I don’t know if they traced my location or if someone else called them, but I was surprised by the response time.”
I continue to tell David the story, how I couldn’t see over the crowd, the voice I heard from someone yelling at everyone to stand back so they could work, and how I couldn’t believe the way, ‘Bostonians,’ acted, standing there, watching the accident, possibly seeing people wounded or dead, and yet they crowded around the officers, making it hard for them to work.
“So what happened? I mean, how bad was the accident?” he asks.
“Well, I gave up on trying to see and walked away when I heard another explosion and someone yelling: ‘Woah!’ My heart raced, yet I looked back to find the crowd clapping. I mean, I assume it meant someone was okay, but why were they all just sitting there, watching?! I tried taking a few pictures from over the crowd, but all I got was a few cops walking near the crowd and some badly wrecked cars. When I got home, I tried to look it up, but didn’t find anything on accidents or crime happening there, that day.”
“Woah! That’s crazy!” he says as he flips through the pictures, suddenly stopping and squinting at one, as if confused, before he starts laughing.
“What?!” He signals me to hold a second as he tries to swallow his laughter. “All I’m going to say is, it’s ironic, you…telling me this now.” He says as the lights dim and the previews begin.
“Why?” I feel so confused by his statement.
“Think about it during the movie and I’ll tell you after.” He says as he returns my phone and sits back in his seat, looking toward the movie screen. I do the same, as I wonder, how it’s…ironic.