Thursday, June 4, 2015

Paranoid and Hating It

As is my wont since I started to take the Silverline to and from work, I walked past the Boston Federal Courthouse today. In the past it had been a scene filled with officers of all types and a line of press and other bystanders. Today it was quiet. As I crossed the street to begin traversing the building, a mini-van pulled up to the last space before the street. It was a van covered in circular icons, and as I drew near I noticed it said 'Catering' on it. As I leaned down to look in the passenger window, a slight flow of paranoia creeping over me, and I saw the driver look at me. He was young, under 20 I'd say, was very thin but not very tall, had dark, curly hair and a slightly dark complection.

What made me move faster, in addition to all the above, was that he was just sitting in the van. It he was a legitimate caterer, he should have been jumping out of the van to do what needed to be done. I moved as fast as my poor knees would let me, fearing to be caught in a blast. If I'd had the presence of mind to remember I brought my camera, I might have even taken pictures or video.

I can safely say I was not caught in a blast, nor has any occurred as of this writing. As I moved away from the scene, the paranoia faded, and the temptation to call 911 waned. Then I got to thinking. Was he perhaps waiting for someone? He did seem a bit nervous when he saw me looking at him, Maybe he was picking someone up using compamy property. If I had acted rashly, things would certainly be different for him. The simple fact is I had no facts and therefore no justification in calling the police. Knowing them, in their own paranoia, made worse by the recent killing of someone who had threatened them, they would have moved in and shot him without provocation.

That's all right for them - well, no it isn't, really, but I understand where they're coming from. But for me, paranoia is a recent thing. I've never been at 'ground zero' of a major event, and the trial of the Boston Marathon Bomber had put me on an edge I really didn't like to be on.

But this is where I work, and I won't let the possibility of being blown up, no matter how remote, stop me from getting paid.

But that doesn't mean I like being paranoid. It's a feeling I really want to get rid of. Right now, though, I have to learn to deal with it. Because if I let it rule my life, then the terrorists win, amiright?