It was the sound of the helicopters that I heard at first: never a good sound but I thought Well, carry on, and so started off for my exercise class, weights and sneakers and water bottle in hand. I was swinging along through the side streets of Woburn, the town next door to me where our local Y is, when I heard it on the radio: A car seen going 120 miles an hour south on the Interstate had been chased for miles on that highway, and was now being chased on the side streets of the very town I was in.
Two police cars came screaming past me and all I could think was, What if this fool is coming in this direction? I began eyeing places where I could dart out off the road entirely. These bushes wouldn’t be bad, I thought, or hell, I could swerve off into this brook if I had to.
I got safely to my Total Strength class in the Y’s basement-level studio but nearly jumped out of my skin when an ungodly crash came from the floor above us. “SOMEONE up there doesn’t know how to use the equipment!” quipped our instructor.
As far as I know, nobody in the Y knew of what was happening on the streets, but I knew. And don’t think I didn’t start eyeing places in the room where I could duck down and hide.
They caught the two perps, but not before people in two schools had been told to shelter in place. The passenger perp had jumped from the car as soon as they got off the highway and had fled on foot into the neighborhoods. The driver was finally found hiding, ironically for me, inside the Woburn Racquet Club just up the street.
Sad it is to think that this wariness and jumpiness, to say nothing of the sirens and the news flashes and the sheltering-in place have become the new normal.