This morning I listened to the news on the radio long before I was fully awake, which is normal. I heard some kind of speech but I drifted back to sleep. I dreamt about the roof of a bus getting ripped off...then I realized it wasn't part of my dream. It had happened. Bombings. Underground. London. Bus. Three dead. Now closer to 40. But the injured...in the hundreds. London.
I start making a list in my head of who I know in London. Alicia, a good friend from college; NML, my blog friend; the Hardings, friends of my father's; Amanda, their daughter (does she even live in London?); Dan, a fellow I met when he spent a summer in Berkeley and who showed me around London one evening many years ago (he may not live there either). I send Alicia and NML email. I think about NML's stories of the crowded Underground. I wonder if Alicia takes the tube to work. I don't know where either of them live or work. The Hardings are retired so that means they are probably safe.
I haven't heard from Alicia yet (I will worry--she has a toddler, a husband and a pack of in-laws in London), but NML kindly posted on her blog and let us know she is fine, stuck in the office, and more than a little upset.
The world doesn't stop when these things happen, but it hits a little closer when you know people there and when you've spent time in the place where it happened. I've been to England several times, including about six weeks in London.
I admire the reserve with which the authorities are handling things. There doesn't seem to be any media hysteria. People were scared, but the emergency response was quick and competent. Everyone is thinking 9/11--all the interviewees on NPR mentioned it--but London was spared that many deaths and that level of destruction. Thank God. I hope it is over.
The police sirens and ambulances I hear today make me jumpy. I didn't want to take the subway this morning. I'm more on edge than usual. Living in DC when bombings start is not a comfortable thing. I was here on 9/11. We're in the middle of the bullseye.
But, life does, and should go on. And, as I like to say, no news is good news. I wish Alicia would write, though, and I need to drop a line to Dad about his friends.
Grateful for: life.