“Where are you? I heard there was an explosion on 23rd and 7th and you told me you were headed to Chelsea. I’m not sure where you were going. I’m very worried. Please call me.” My mother left the message at 9pm; I called her back 20 minutes later.
“Thank God you’re fine. I was frantic until I heard from you,” her breathing had slowed down.
“You could have just called my cell phone,” I say.
“I was too glued to the news coverage. They’re still trying to figure out what kind of explosion it was. They say it it was in a dumpster.”
“I’m OK mom, we’re home, we’re safe,” I reassure her and say a silent thank you prayer to any deity who will hear me for living to write about escaping danger.
My family and I had spent the day a few blocks from the explosion enjoying the Highline and dinner in Chelsea, but we left at just the right time, as if an angel of luck guided us out.
This is the second time in my life where I’ve skirted this kind of situation.
In 2007, there was a steam pipe explosion in Manhattan down the block from where I worked, where I took the train at Grand Central Station. The accident happened around 6pm and I had walked into my apartment at 6:15pm to a message from my mother, who was twice as distraught because my sister and I had been working at the same office. She feared both daughters blew up on 41st Street and Lexington Avenue.
It’s at times like this when I’m reminded not to stress about little things like an unexpected flood in my apartment, nasty comments from ignorant trolls online, or even an unfair stint at traffic court. “It’s just noise,” my sister reminds me. These annoyances in life which can rile me up and stress me out are tiny obstacles; they’re laughable and most importantly, repairable. I’m lucky those are the things I get. It’s like the Proverb (I’m using literary license to paraphrase) “if you put everyone’s problems in the pot, you’ll still pull your own out.”