Minus 21 hours | Boston. USA.


he girls had decided to wear their Boston t-shirts: shades of pink for the youngest, pink on black for the eldest. Girls and their new clothes. We had returned from the city the night before, bearing small gifts and trinkets, the stuff you always bring back to make up for leaving; the flotsam of guilt. Three days in Beantown after a brief stay in Maine, just the two of us. A long weekend on our own.

So on monday I booked a last minute studio shoot and spent the afternoon working on images for a client. I left to pick up the kids around five and when I got to Heloïse’s daycare center, Cathy — who runs the place — asked about our trip. Then she looked at me with an odd tilt of the head and said: “You haven’t heard what’s happened…”


We would’ve been there. We would’ve taken the T from the green line across our hotel on South Huntington, headed straight to Copley.
1 hours later and we would’ve been there. …

On Saturday, as we were riding the trolley I overheard a conversation. The kid sitting next to me, a pudgy boy with the unneasy vibe of an outcast, had noticed a woman’s outfit and asked if she would be running in the marathon. “No. But he is…” she said, pointing to a man from her group a little further away. “Wow, that’s cool…” said the boy “Have you seen the jackets this year? They’re reaaally nice.” “Yes, we have one” the woman replied. And then the kid added, with obvious pride: “I’m a Volunteer!”.

I couldnt help smiling as they kept on talking. I remember thinking how very neighborly it all seemed, a small town vignette in Big City America. Honest. True.

I have to admit: I feel uneasy posting these images this morning. I had planned on writing about the Freedom Trail, the founding fathers, the wharf, the architecture… I had thought of doing a short series. But of course all of that has changed and this will be my one and only post on the city. My humble tribute. As I sit here, sifting through the pictures, I find myself listening again to that conversation in my mind, as it loops on itself, on and on like some distant echo. The pudgy boy’s face, his enthusiasm, the voices, the banter… I just can’t shake it off. I can’t accept a world where those people were rewarded with chaos. And I truly hope Fate wasn’t as cruel as I fear.


Patrick La Roque

laROQUE, 311 Lorncliff, Otterburn Park, Canada