Paris Attacks

Paris_Peace-Were you in Paris at the time of the attacks?

-Yes.

-Were you hurt?

-No.

-Were any of your friends or family members hurt?

-No.

-Did you witness any of the violent events first hand?

-No.

-Where were you when you first heard about the attacks?

-At home. I was having dinner with my husband.

-How did you learn about the attacks?

-A friend sent me a text message to ask whether I was okay. That’s when we checked the news on our phones.

-How did you feel when you saw the news?

-Baffled. Horrified. Powerless.

-You did not feel scared?

-No.

-Why not?

-I don’t know. I was at home behind locked doors. I live in another part of town. I have an exaggerated sense of self-safety.

-What did you do once you heard about the attacks?

-I checked up on friends who lived in the area where the shootings took place. I browsed social media networks for information. I thought about all the times I had been in the Bataclan in the past. I replied to concerned messages from others about my safety. I listened to the helicopters above my head.

-Did you sleep?

-We have Xanax.

-How did you feel the next day?

-Angry. Depressed. Haunted.

-What did you do?

-I checked where I could donate my blood and learned that there were so many people in line to donate their blood that authorities discouraged people from coming.

-What did you do next?

-I read the first few chapters of Houellebecq’s Submission. And I worried.

-About what?

-The social and political consequences of the attacks. The human capacity for evil. The hopelessness of the state of the world. The dangerous force of delusional ideas. The human talent for cruelty, selfishness, jealousy, hatred, blame, revenge, bad reasoning, xenophobia. The possible reoccurrence of similar attacks all over the world. Ignorance. The future of eduction. The weapon industry. The hidden powers of our own governments. War. The chance that some conspiracy theories are true. The unattainability of the truth. The impotence of all of us to ever change any of it.

-Do you still think Europe should accept as many Syrian refugees as we can?

-Yes.LaFranceEnDeuil

-Do you think that some of these refugees are terrorists in disguise who at some point in the future might become a threat to the safety of European citizens?

-Every human being can at some point in the future become a threat to another human being.

-What’s going to happen next?

-“At this point, it’s hard to say what is, or isn’t, possible. Anyone who tells you otherwise is either a fool or a liar. I don’t think anyone has any idea what the next few weeks will bring.” (From Submission by Michel Houellebecq translated by Lorin Stein)

-Is there anything you’d like to add?

-Yes. My heart goes out to everyone who was a victim of the attacks or lost someone they loved.