A Jihadist in a Market Somewhere

Christmas, again.

Wednesday morning. Christmas Day.

Last night we sang carols again at the Lamb and Flag.

Silly stories. This time they depressed me.

Today, in a market somewhere, a car will probably push into a throng.

There will be a sound like the splitting of a great rock.

Then a hurricane of metal, stones, body parts.

After that, the flimsy ambulances. The makeshift hospital.

Broken bodies. Despair.

A man is weeping. His two sons are dead. They were serving coffee and tea from the family’s stand.

A woman, their mother, comes running.

She screams a scream that preoccupies the afternoon.

Once I saw suicide bombers, jihadists whose bombs failed to detonate. They were being interviewed in prison.

One had little white teeth and tousled hair and a shy smile.

“Do you want to kill me?” asks the Australian journalist.

“No, you are reporters”, he says.

They bring on another, shaven, a dark, stolid face.

“Our earthly life does not matter,” he says. “Paradise awaits us if we honour god’s law.”

Zombie killers.

I got up very early and wrote this before we exchanged gifts.

I got a fluorescent green Altura cycle jacket and a Garmin bicycle computer.

I gave Maureen a pair of sheepskin slipper boots from Celtic and Co. and an orange floral Rixen Kaul bicycle basket from Germany.

After exchanging gifts we made some family calls.

In the afternoon we’ll go down to the sea. Tomorrow I will take the bike out somewhere.

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