January 09, 2014

Science of Fear

There’s a truck parked in my street.
I have noticed it on my morning walks with my dog, at 6:15 AM. It is an unusual truck, in the sense that trucks never park in my street. There are no stores or businesses, and I don’t know of any residents that drive a truck as an occupation.
It is not a big truck, but a mini-truck. It is white, but it has no identification as to what it is carrying. It’s been there long enough to gather dust on the windshield, and leaves above the wipers.
Other things I see in my street. An entrance to the storm drain. People collect images like these (source)
 I am uncomfortable with that truck being there. I need to pass it with the dog, but somehow, when I walk behind it, I am thinking “not now not now not now.”  I take comfort in the knowledge that it has never happened that early in the morning. I mean, 6:15 AM. Really. That would be a first. But there is a first time for everything.
And when I am far enough so I can turn the corner, I sigh, “Oooff, at least the wall will protect me from flying metal.”
You see, that is what you get when you have people blowing up cars, regardless whether they sit in it or not. Especially when you see videos like these. I have driven in that street. I know that street. I could have been there that day. It could have been me standing there.
Just like that truck in my street.
I am not alone in these thoughts. Because tonight, during dinner, my son remarked: “There is a suspicious truck parked downstairs.” I instantly knew what truck he was talking about. And that he too was wondering. “Maybe it is going to explode.
 And even if we are not home, and we’re all going to come out of this one alive, all our furniture, windows, door and curtains, will be blown out of the window from the other side of my house. Heck, if it is big enough, my building could become damaged to an extent that it needs to be demolished. Is there anyone living in my street that could be a target? Not that I know of. But do I know everyone? There is an awmiyeh office around the corner. Could that be the target? Naa, too far off.
So whose truck is it, parked there in my street?
 This is what fear does to you.    
Another one, can't read the Arabic though. You can photograph them with your feet in the picture as well (source)
I wonder if there are people that are tallying the days between bombs. What’s the average? I wonder if they investigate the link between when people expect a bomb to go off and when an actual bomb goes off. Because I question these matters quite often these days.
Somehow these explosions always take me by surprise, which is pretty stupid if you realize I’ve been through dozens of them. Probably more, but I am not keeping track. How many exactly, since 2005? Is anyone tallying those? Yes, someone is.
Right now everyone is one edge. Three bombs in a row, that’s pretty tight. And since the end of this conflict is nowhere in sight, we all expect the next one pretty soon. It should be February, according to my calculations, but according to what’s out in the news, it is much sooner.
I get – through my work – all these messages from foreign companies and embassies. The Americans, occasionally the UN, AUB from time to time, and then there’s the Dutch embassy (whom are frightfully frugal with their admonitions as to where I should and should not go, unlike the Americans, whose suggestions create great hilarity. And I wouldn’t want to have it any other way. Both the frugality, as well as the hilarity).
So which car is it going to be? You think as you drive through town. This one? Or that one?
I was supposed to have a drink with my friends yesterday somewhere downtown. That lovely idea was canned, because some had heard that another bomb is about to go off these coming days in a public space, while others have been told by their spouse not to go to public place anymore.
But what knowledge do they have?
Is anyone doing any research between the general mood (when do people feel it is safe to venture out in public again?), perceptions of when bombs will go off after the last one, and ideas of where they might go off, and then compare these results with when and where bombs actually  go off?
There’s got to be a science for this, because no matter how stupid it sounds, even suicide bombers and the men behind them that finance and plans these things, work according to human logic.
They are predictable in their unpredictability, and as such, if you look at this from a scientific viewpoint, shouldn’t you be able to give a more accurate warning.
I digress. What am I going to do about that truck? 
More worried people (or bloggers that notice worried people):


Anonymous said...

Can't you just set it on fire?

Anonymous said...

You should report it...