A “Timered Bomb”

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2013-10-10 – Those of us who were there Tuesday morning didn’t think of ourselves as heroes. We just did what had to be done. It is only now, two days later, that it is dawning on us how dangerous the situation was.

My reaction at the time when I saw the bomb-threat note was “this is garbage!” Literally. The note was written on the inside of a used pizza box and was sitting on the bench where I often sit to write blog posts on my iPad. Where I am sitting today writing this post, fighting memories of that day.

I wish I had taken a picture of the note. It was a long note, filling the whole pizza box. All caps. Written with a red marker. The first part asked for a meeting at “THE PIER.” The second part warned of a “TIMERED BOMB.” Grammar was okay, not great. The full meaning of the threat was unclear. Which pier? Why a meeting? What time? Why a bomb?

I looked around and saw a cop arrive at the south staircase. I went to ask if he knew about the pizza box. He did. Someone else had evidently called. Soon more cops arrived and the station was closed. By then, more passengers had arrived. We were stranded, forced to get a cab, if we wanted to get to work on time.

The terrorist’s job was done. But we survived.

The morning was cool. The planet Jupiter was bright but Mars was dim in the pre-dawn eastern sky. The cab skirted Lake Michigan as the first light of morning drew a pink line over the water at the horizon. North of us was the Pratt Avenue pier. South was Navy Pier. Which pier was it? Presently we turned west away from the lake to reach our final destination. Ready to walk from the downtown train station to our work, filled with questions of what-if?

Later that day, police reopened our neighborhood station. The dogs had been brought in. No bomb was found.

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