It’s a small world, after all

The world is large, the world is small.

I called my friend this morning to see if she’d heard yet from her sister in London. She hadn’t heard the news yet but took it in stride. “I can’t see my sister riding public transportation,” she said archly.

I laughed. “Now, if she dies, you’re going to feel really bad. And we’re both going to hell,” I said.

“Oh, come on,” she said. “I’m still laughing over that woman running over her kid with her Volvo. If I’m not going to hell for that, I’m not going at all.” (A few years ago, a soccer mom in an affluent local suburb backed out of her driveway and over her child. And although of course the death was a horrible thing, the irony was irresistible: Every Volvo owner we know is fixated on protecting their children. That’s why they bought the car, after all.)

I turned on some reruns of “E.R.” after I hung up. In this episode, an elderly man with pancreatic cancer was in liver failure, and a surgeon talked him into having a Whipple procedure. Elizabeth Corday ripped into the surgeon, telling him he had a lot of nerve pushing such a risky procedure in someone so old, with so little chance of success. Gulp. I changed the channel.

At least I’m not watching cable news. I don’t want to see Bush again.

The world is large, the world is small.

My sister is waiting for my niece (who’s married to a reservist) to give birth to her third baby. My dad had his first chemo treatment yesterday. We’re worried about how my mom’s holding up.

For the past three days, there’s been a work crew outside putting cutesy Victorian shingles on my building; they start early and finish late. Bang, bang, bang, go their hammers.

I hate my new haircut but at least it only cost $13. I may have a new motherboard soon. What should I defrost for dinner?

Forty dead, 700 injured, 150 seriously. Riding to work in the morning, thinking about what to have for dinner, thenboom. And suddenly, you’re a survivor and CNN is sticking a microphone in your face. How did it feel? What was it like?

There was a loud bang, there was thick smoke, we couldn’t breathe. People broke windows, some people cried, some people prayed. Body parts, everywhere. We walked over the wounded to get out of the tunnel. No one was there to help us.

Heavy mortar strikes targeting the local government headquarters in Iraq’s northern city of Mosul hit nearby shops, killing at least three people and wounding 46 people, hospital officials said on Thursday.

We kill them there, they kill us here.

Somewhere, everywhere, a child wiggles at his school desk, waiting impatiently for recess.

The world is large, the world is small.