Friday, July 08, 2005


Of all the images that came out of London yesterday, perhaps the most striking to me was a photo of a commuter who had been caught in the blast, tie askew, bandaged at the neck and forehead, covered in dust, with a blood-spattered newspaper still tucked under his right arm. It resonates partly because it seems a peculiarly British image, with the hardwiring for stiff upper lips called unexpectedly back into action. But it also reminds me of the guy She Who Must Be Obeyed and I talked to during the pedestrian exodus from D.C. to Northern Virginia on 9/11. He worked at the Pentagon, and was pretty certain his car had been caught in the crash, and didn't know anything more than what we'd seen on TV, except that if the crash was declared an act of terror his insurance would cover the car, but if it were an act of war it wouldn't. This struck us both as a grasping at something normal and pedestrian to make sense of the insane and extraordinary, similar to how a funeral focuses the mind on the most mundane details of life, like haircuts and dry cleaning and getting a ride to the airport.

I still wonder how that guy made out with his car...

No comments: