"don't go outside," my mother told me over the phone this morning, waking me up. i knew this was in relations to the gunfight that happened in watertown late last night, about a mile away from their house. but i asked her the question everyone wanted to know last night but was afraid to ask: was the shooting related to the bombings? she asked if i'd watched the news yet. i got up and turned on the television.
yesterday the world just knew what the bombers looked like (courtesy of the FBI). this morning the world knew who they were. the suspects were brothers of chechnyan ethnicity; the older brother (26) was dead, the younger one (19) was still at large. i was surprised just how young he was. i decided to stay indoors not simply because of my mother's advice but because there was a shelter-in-home order for all the towns around and including watertown: waltham, belmont, cambridge, allston-brighton, brookline, newton, as well as the city of boston. watertown - where suspect 2 was last seen - was entirely cordoned off, with all in/out traffic checked by the police. MBTA was suspended, and so were all taxi services. businesses were told to close (my parents didn't open the cafe today).
cambridge was eerily quiet. i didn't see anyone on the street except for a few dogwalkers. even more surprisingly, there was virtually no cars on the road. i'd planned on doing some gardening today, but with a deadly suspect still on the lose, i decided to heed the warnings and stay home. even if i did go out, with all the stores closed, there was not much to do.
i was glued to the television all day. with no news to report other than the fact that the police were going door-to-door in an area of watertown searching for the suspect, i turned off the tv, only to turn it on a short time later because i didn't want to miss the possibility of any breaking news.
more information: dzhokhar tsarnaev - suspect 2 - was a former graduate of cambridge ridge and latin. street interviews with classmates revealed he was a normal teenager, doing teenage things like going to prom and experimenting with drugs. his older brother tamerlan was more serious, getting involved with militant islam recently. they entered the country as political refugees, and had lived in the area for more than a decade. the brothers had an apartment near inman square, and dzhokhar was attending school at umass dartmouth.
i did take a short nap in the late afternoon, the numbing side effect of overloading on local news coverage.
in the early evening there was a knock on my door. i was startled at first, since i wasn't expecting anyone, but saw a face peering into my window and realized it was julie. stuck all day at her boyfriend chris' place in the south end, she broke curfew and came back to camberville on a borrowed bike.
the police had been searching all day and still couldn't find the suspect. shortly after they lifted the shelter-at-home order in the neighboring towns, there was a report of renewed gunshots and explosions happening in watertown. initially nobody knew what was going on, but gunfire seemed like a sign that maybe they finally found the suspect. as the news trickled in, we learned the suspect had been hiding in a boat (so apropos, given it was in watertown) that was just outside the search perimeter, and the police were in a standoff, trying to get the suspect to surrender. while we waited and channel surfed to find the best coverage, words was getting out by around 8:40 that not only was the stalemate over, but they had the suspect in custody alive.
with that the weeklong drama was finally over. the marathon and the subsequent bombings seemed like ages ago, even though it all happened just on monday. my biggest relief wasn't that they got the suspect, which is a pretty big deal, but that they captured him alive, so investigators can find out why he and his brother did what they did.
after julie left sometime after 10:00, i warmed up some leftover pasta and meat sauce and finally had dinner.