Fear part two: the anticlimax
So after last night’s post, I checked my insurance policies and renewed them. I went to sleep fretting that if my flat is done over by looters, I’ll get done over again by the insurers. My usually buoyant trust levels had fallen to an all time low.
I had continued to obsessively watch the twitter feed for Balham, waiting for the news that the high street, and in it my flat and all my worldly goods and possessions, had been razed by fire to the ground.
This morning I woke to find quite the opposite.
We all of a sudden count ourselves fortunate that we have mundane and ordinary lives. Fear did that to us. Knowing our homes could have gone the way others have and blazed like beacons in the night has driven us to gratitude for the things we normally barely acknowledge.
And in the name of what exactly are the riots happening to make us so afraid? A 40″ LED screen plasma TV with built-in digibox? Is this really what this violence is about?
The glass door to the shop next door to where I live, Carphone Warehouse, had been halfheartedly smashed and that was the sum total of the damage. In the cool light of morning it made my fear look slightly trivial, the collection of what matters to me into bags slightly childish.
But when darkness falls again tonight, will I feel the same again?
I smiled and said ‘Good morning’ to my bus drivers like I always do. And today, for the first time, both said ‘Good morning’ back. In a city of several million, being terrorised by a few hundred, perhaps the cumulation of all our small gestures of kindness and goodwill will make the difference that overcomes the madness fear brings.