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