Oh London

This morning, I got up and started on SPD. As the page was loading, I checked my email. I noticed I had another email from Dan. It was sent out at 6 a.m. my time. All he wrote was the following:

just leting you guys know i’m ok – gone crazy here, quite close to the bombs but staying in our building cos can’t move anywhere. Will let you know once it’s all over

What in the hell was going on in London?

We turned on CNN and were immediately engulfed by the news ripple moving across the world. I wrote Dan back. I gathered my belongings. And I left for work.

Once outside, I picked the Times up off my doorstep. There was a picture before me. I immediately began to cry. It was the most brilliant photograph featuring a crowd of Londoners. Their faces, which were being rained upon by a downpour of confetti, were draped in pure joy after just being told that they had been awarded with the 2012 Olympic Games. And it’s hard to believe that in less than 24 hour’s, those faces changed from the pure joy I saw before me to absolute horror.

Horror.

I know I sound selfish in writing what I’m about to write, but on my way to the L train this morning, I was afraid to get on. I contemplated working from home or even walking over the Williamsburg Bridge. The L train runs underwater. And when I let Fear take over and I remember those months following September 11 where I spent every day to and from work praying to whatever God might hear me that we not get bombed while under the East River, I lose a little control. I simply can not fathom the possibility of having water pour in from all sides as people run like sewer rats in any direction possible. I worried about that scenario every day. Which is both very selfish and very sad.

New York City is eerily quiet today. Even Grand Central was slower and more subdued. I imagine many New Yorkers are trying to pack away any residual damage left over from years before. I felt irrational fear come on instantly. I then quickly pushed it down again. I know this fear lives inside of me and probably will forever. I’m just trying to figure out a way to live with it. So I turned up my iPod and was shamefully reassured that I live in a world where I stand for more of a chance of being killed over it than I do by the hand of a terrorist.

(Why this time? The summit? The Olympics? Boredom? The war?)

15 Comments

  1. I was sitting in bed this morning, watching the news and ashamed of myself that I wasn’t more affected by the events in London. What is this world coming to, that I’m so desensitized by sensless killings? We hear about atrocities committed against mankind every single day. Rwanda. Middle East. Playgrounds. Subways. I can hardly feel anything anymore and this makes me sad.

    Before I left the apartment this morning, I made sure I was wearing comfortable shoes and had a bottle of water. And then I boarded the train just like any other day.

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  2. You’re ok.
    We wear it like a merit badge, eh? Prepare for the worst. That’s all you can do.

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  3. I was thinking when I heard the news, that you guys should not get on the L today. I know they have stepped up security in New York, but I wish you and Toby would take a sick day. How’s that for mother-hen behavior?

    I wish I could be in London right now. I think the attack has to do with the G8 Summit, but who knows. Senseless violence. Those poor people. I am so angry right now.

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  4. I find it so entirely disturbing that the G8 Summit would bring this on. But that’s what a lot of folks are saying here, too.

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  5. When I was a child (around 7 or so) I was in London with my family (my dad’s a brit) and I heard a bomb blast and the subsequent distinctive EEE-yah EEE-yah of the british sirens. That was an IRA bombing. I think I was scared, but I don’t recall being that frightened. I do recall my father saying that there was nothing to be afraid of: Britain had seen worse. He told me about hiding under the kitchen table when he was a boy of my age when the Germans were dropping bombs on them. He comforted his mum then, too, telling her “Don’t worry, mummy. God won’t let them hurt us.”
    It’s a terrible thing, but if any society can handle the shock, it’s the British, by George.

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  6. It is just beyond words…I am horrified and angry and devastated.
    The why doesn’t matter…there is nothing that justifies recklessly killing and maiming innocent people. Nothing.
    The fear…it is rapidly becoming a way of life isn’t it…robbing us of all that is normal.

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  7. Charlie, have I told you lately how much I enjoy having met you? I do. I’m also happy you have kids.
    Sarah, do you remember the article the Onion put out right after 9/11? I think the title was something like “Suicide Bombers Wake up Shocked to Find Themselves in Hell.” ? Your comment just reminded me of it. For some reason.

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  8. This is not the first time I have said this today and it probably won’t be the last: I am sad and angry. I am especially angry because we have spent the last several years fighting in Iraq instead of pursuing Al Qaeda. I am so tired of hearing this called a war on terror while the actual terrorists aren’t the target. I am not saying that we could have absolutely prevented this awful day but we might have slowed them down a little if we were really trying. Why haven’t we been trying?

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  9. I think everyone has been tied up searching Aruba.

    (I stole that.)

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  10. I’m more scared of the tokyo subway sarin attacks from a few years back.

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  11. I went out after rugby practice last night and ate a couple dozen raw clams, drank beer, ate three pickled eggs, and had three oyster shooters (a combination of raw oyser, beer, cocktail sauce and horseradish). All I can say is that this morning I discovered something scarier than a sarin subway attack.

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  12. Charlie- are you Batman?

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  13. And how did Kerry fare with the biological warzone that was once known as your bathroom?

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  14. Kerry was spared. I waited until I got to work. I think I might get a call from HR later. Or the EPA.

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