All I can think about today is the terrorist attack in Paris last night. I’m stricken with sadness, anger, questions of “Why???” Like everyone else in different parts of the world with friends in Paris, I was on social media trying to reach them. Viber, Facebook, whatever. When I finally got through, oh my God, so much relief. Waves of relief washed over me that I was crying while texting. The panic I felt while waiting for word from friends threw me back to the time when the U.S. was attacked by terrorists. I was in Philadelphia at the time, running around trying to get out of the city. The transportation rail SEPTA was shut down, and so everyone was running around with their cell phones trying to reach their loved ones and trying to figure out the different ways to exit the city. Oh God, how I hated that feeling. Scared, panicked, but I didn’t actually cry at all until I spoke with my parents, and my dad said something like, “You don’t need to worry, everything will be okay.” Now of course, that’s when I got scared.
Today, I’ve been trying to avoid social media to avoid breaking down. Figure I would cook some comfort food — a pot of spaghetti bolognese and a side dish of eggplant because that’s all I had in the fridge. The act of chopping vegetables helped. The nice solid crunch of the vegetable, the sound of the knife hitting the cutting board, and the look of diced onions, eggplant cubes, and wedges of tomatoes when I was done, well… it was something at least, and it did make me feel better having done so much chopping. Add chili peppers to the eggplant? Sure why not? It didn’t matter as long as I was creating something on the stove.
Turns out I still need time to grieve. I just peeked at facebook, and the news headlines alone spurned another wave of tears. The headlines and the tears, I realize, cannot be avoided too much longer. Peace for Paris.