Last night was the first time I was ever close to getting injured by a pressumed IED and it shook me because my gut instinct, just half an hour before the presumed bombed went off was to not go to that exact area. That exact street and that exact avenue. In case you haven’t heard from every news outlet and social media source, there was a scare in NYC last night and I came this close to telling a different story than the one I’m telling now.
I’ll start at the beginning I was out with some friends at a bar near by in Union Square which for non New Yorkers is just a few blocks away from the neighborhood of Chelsea where the explosion took place.
My course of action was to go Chelsea to visit some shops to get a few things I need for a cosplay for NYCC, as well as a magnetic chalk board for my fridge. I wanted to walk up a bit. If you planned my route from west 14th and 4th avenue to West 22nd and 6th from 8:10 PM would have landed me in the area at exactly the time the explosion took place.
My friend looked at me and he said “so do you want to go?” And something, I don’t know what exactly. Pulled me back. I remember feeling a sense of being weighed down at the thought of the walk, which is weird since I love to walk. So I initially simply thought it was laziness, now I’m unsure of what it was that stopped me I can’t find the word for it, because 15-20 minutes before the Bomb went off I looked at him, dead in the eye and said “I don’t feel like walking to west 23rd right now, I’m lazy. Do you want to go to Forbidden Planet instead?”
Forbidden Planet is right up the block from where we were. It put us both far enough from the area not to feel the explosion, but close enough to see the emergency vehicles zoom through and the helicopters whirl above us. I miscalculated the location of the store I wanted to go by several blocks in my state ment to my friend. The first store was on west 18th and the second that would have put us on the trajectory of the explosion was on west 22nd just a meer block away.
It scared me because I knew that store was on 18th. Why did I say 23rd? What said to me “no, I think I’ll stay put.” I tried to put this in perspective last night and just couldn’t. I don’t believe in G-D. I don’t believe in divine intervention. As my friend Suhasini said to me last night as I was mulling it over “I may not believe in God, but I believe in family.” And I truly, in my heart of hearts want to believe my grandparents pulled me back. They didn’t want to get injured or to be around such harm and they told me to stay away.
Or it could have been coincidence; my own dumb luck that once saved me from a train derailment. My head wants it to be coincidence. My heart wants it to be something else. All I know is that I never thought I would be one of those people that was supposed to be in the line of fire and wasn’t due to something really silly like choosing to go to a comic book store rather than somewhere you needed to go for a project, or a piece for your new apartment.
I read about some of the injuries. One woman has metal in her eye, things stuck in people’s legs and arms. I’m mortified I made a last minute call to not do what I did. I came home and took a long walk and thanked whatever it was that kept my friend and I from harms way last night, and I hope everyone injured and impacted by the occurrence last night is safe and better soon. I want to be able to say I’m ok, but the sinking feeling of “that could have been me” can’t help but envelope me this morning.