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london calling

2005-07-08 - 12:25 p.m.

We had a whopper of a morning yesterday. Wednesday night was spent exercising our atrophied and bloated (or in Prince R’s case, rock-hard and studly) bodies at the pool, where I suffered not one, but two rounds of debilitating foot cramps. This is not a joke, to those of you who have never suffered a foot cramp. It feels as though someone is cutting off your toes with a knife and ritually slicing open the arch of your foot. It is Not Pleasant. So, Thursday morning, when the alarm beeps, we pulled ourselves out of our justly weary and bleary-eyed sleep, threw on some sort of clothing, and raced for the bus.

We caught the bus handily, but there was some sort of odd smell. I was petrified I had left some sort of lunch-type thing in my bag, and it was now rotting merrily away and stanking up the whole bus, but no. Turns out our bus wass gushing diesel. So naturally we hoofed it back to the car and proceeded to drive in. Already late, but not shockingly so, R droped me off at the Metro while he went to find a place to park. I immediately caught a train, hopped on and watched us whizzing by the hideously snarled traffic on 66. “How pleasant and safe this is,” I thought to myself. “I remember back after 9/11, when I was afraid to take the Metro, but really, there’s nothing to worry about.” Just then, my cell rang. Thinking it was R calling to check on my Metro-catching skilz, I picked up in a rather annoyed tone. “There’s been an attack on the London subway system,” he said. “There are hundreds of casualities,” he said. “I’m calling to check on our friend R right now. If you see anything suspicious, anything at all, get off the train.”

I finished out the ride, counting down the seconds until I could get out of the Metro system and into a place of relative safety. I was scared for myself, scared for our friend and his family in London, terribly terribly sad for all those who perished, and really fucking angry. What kind of species is this? You shouldn’t have to fear for your life on your commute to work. People shouldn’t be starting off the day worrying about whether they’ll get those reports finished on time and then, two hours later, be worrying about whether their loved ones are alive. People shouldn’t get murdered because they’re trying to feed their families. WHAT KIND OF PEOPLE DO THIS TO OTHER PEOPLE? Maybe I’m narrow-minded, but I completely fail to understand the mindset that says it is okay to plant bombs in a mass transportation system. I fail to understand when this becomes okay.

I’m sure in the next few days I’ll read plenty of hideous commentary about how Londoners had it coming because they shelter terrorists and have lots of Bad People immigrating there, and, on the other side, lots of commentary about how we need to nuke the entire Middle East and how this proves how right and justified we were to go into Iraq and how we need to kill all Arabs. But what bothers me most are the people who won’t say anything, who’ll just read, shrug, and go about their lives. People fucking died yesterday. There was a giant murderous attack, and people’s lives will never be the same again. People have lost limbs and will have hideous scarring, and people have lost daughters and husbands and brothers and mothers and best friends and work colleagues. People in London will be trading stories about how they almost took the subway but decided to stay home with their sick kid, and stories about how they say that bus blow up. Lives won’t ever be the same again, and I think it’s pretty fucking cowardly to pretend it r it didn’t count because it wasn’t in this country just to preserve some bullshit sense of naïve safety.

Grilled chicken screed, as it can’t be put off any longer: We went to a restaurant and got some crappy grilled chicken. It was billed as “lemon marinated” but it was plain grilled chicken, and overdone at that. In response to our complaints, the dense waitress shrugged and offered mango chutney. Not to get all melodramatic and shit, but when there are people in London with their jaws blown off, it seems much less of a big deal. In fact, I’m pretty ashamed right now of just how privileged I am that I can bitch about overdone and plain chicken in a beachside restaurant, when there are so many starving people in the world.


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