Sunday, December 29, 2013

On staying alive post explosion

Some of us take an early walk in the morning by the sea, others like to bike in the morning, others go to work, or go out for breakfast, some might be passing by as a coincidence.

Alarm set to 10, i should wake up and meet a friend for breakfast. The house trembles around 9, the doors shook as if it was an earthquake. Silence, i wake up, pause and think. It's not an earthquake, it must be another explosion. Few seconds of silence passed so long. I rationalize it, i get out of bed, the voice of my friend from the other room asking if this is Israel bombing us, the third friend is up already, we all heard it, we all felt it, it's not a fragment of my imagination. It must be real. Ambulance sirens precedes the news. Now we are sure, it must be an explosion. At least it's not Israel bombing us: option number one from posttraumatic stress disorder is calmed now. At least it's not an earthquake: option number two of anxiety trigger is calmed as well. It is an explosion: option number 3 of anxiety incentive and trauma is here, and it is real.  If we heard it so well, it must be somewhere close. We are all on our phones, tweets of news from the explosion, suddenly, a pause, call the parents, call the friends, go on facebook check if they are online, go on gmail check if the rest is online, go on skype, check who's online, if they are online it means they are ok, away from the explosion. The news came, explosion next to Starco, this is in downtown beirut, downtown beirut, at 9 in the morning, are you fucking serious? It's peak time, people dropping their kids to school, others parking their cars to go up to work, are you fucking serious? I grab my phone, my sisters' road to work pass by downtown, there's no network, we all flip. My friends likes to bike in downtown in the morning. My sister talks to me on whatsapp, where are you she asks, luckily it's the holiday season, she was off from work. I call everyone, even those who i don't speak to anymore, everyone is fine this time. I start jumping from one channel to another to see the news, my friend warns me that live TV broadcasting now can get very brutal with the images, and she was right. Everyone is fine. Silence, I calm down, i start thinking of those who called their family or friends and everyone was not fine. I start imagining what if i was in that position, i loose my ability to breathe again, it's very hard to breathe when you panic, panicking is not fun you know, it's not like when you see it in the hollywood movies, some person panicking because their favorite prada shoes is out of stock, and it is not as funny. We don't have paper bags to breathe in. I calm down, i tell myself to focus, i tell myself this is irrational fear, making scenarios in my head of what ifs is not going to help anyone now, the most important thing is that everybody is fine, right!

This was just half an hour of one morning. literally, 30 minutes of extreme stress. How do we expect ourselves to stay sane in such an environment? What country is this that impose on you to count your friends before breakfast just to make sure none of them is dead? What place is this that you decide to leave but you rather stay because if you are in it the counting of friends is easier and safer, at least you can call them and get to them without feeling guilty about being away, while they are not. The worst part is that there is no escape from the fear of loosing loved ones wherever we are.

What life is this where a good day is not defined by extreme happiness, or achievement, but by the fact that no disaster happened on that day.

No comments: