For the remains of the day

Brussels, 22/03/2016


Dear Isis,

I usually  try to be a little clever. I have a big ego and feeling the smartest person in the room is a huge part of that. So I was going to tell you that when you placed that second bomb at 400 meters from me this morning you should have been a little quicker about it. I was going to tell you how it is hard to intimidate a country that has seen thousands of V2 missiles lauched against it. Do you know the sort of damage a V2 can do?

I was going to belittle you and mock the way your reign in the Levant was clearly comming to an end now, now that we are pushing you back over-there and killing your recruitment over-here.  I was going to tell you the truth, how every last one of us was expecting this to happen. No desiring mind you, but expecting it. And I had expected it to be worse, worse even then Paris.

I was going to belittle you, telling you how you were clearly amateurs. To make you feel small and frustrated. Because today I felt small and frustrated and, in fact, I have felt like crying all day long.

I always thought I would be very close to where your bomb would hit. I never thought that when it did, I wouldn’t even hear it since it was underground and contained in a carriage with thick metal walls and thicker walls of meat. So I was feeling guilty all day. I didn’t even hear it and I was going for a coffee while people died on a sunny tuesday morning, not half a mile away.

So I will not belittle you. I will not speak of Islam, or any other faith which, like asbestos, once seemed a good idea but in hindsight clearly wasn’t. I won’t speak of ‘sleep walking towards armageddon’ because surprisingly today I don’t feel like I was attacked by theists. Perhaps being locked up in a ‘vault’ with plenty of other theists, proportionally represented across the three major middle-eastern religions, can give you this feeling. But I don’t feel like insulting your supposed faith. I still have my quarrels with it, but I can’t bring myself to see any of you as bewitched by any indoctrination they may provide. I just can’t suppres the feeling you would have done this even if Islam had only preached rainbows and butterflies, which it doesn’t as you well know and exploit, because you are losers in every other respect of society.

But I musn’t let my hattred for you spill over. This day is yours, you may have your little attack. I think I would have done it better in your place, but it was fine ennough. Today you won, sort of. For today I did nothing all day except try to get home. Angry, scared and frustrated. You know what that is like? For six hours my best plan was to walk 15 km out of Brussels. Public transport was down. Bike rentals closed. Taxis had been commandeered or volunteered. Not knowing if I would find a safe route to walk, if I would be stopped and searched by soldiers (looking for you) or how long it would actually take me. Worrying about children that needed fetching, worrying about people worrying .. for me. Trying to communicate across a network that had faultred, through e-mail, messenger, skype and land-lines.

I was going to belittle you and counter to my own belief paint a picture of how little your impact would be on a people that have seen more wars in their history than any other. How this would unite us and would be counterproductive to your cause. But I wouldn’t have believed it myself. Because you had an impact today! And a year from today you will be remembered,  like you wanted, badly! But counter to my own believe my country and politically opposite government have absorbed this well. We were prepared, as best as could be. More importantly, we were not surprised, there was not an instance of glaubens-unwillichkeit (you way want to spell-check this german expression).

And though I would be lying to say that you had no impact I now honestly believe that your victory may yet prove to be our finest hour. Because we learned from Paris to be less affraid even though we have clearly more cause to be it. Tommorrow, unlike before, we will be back on the trains and back in the buildings running this country; and you may try to hit us again and you may even succeed. You can kill another 30- 40 people, and do not think for a moment that I don’t hear those people crying this night -crying until there are no more tears to cry, because ‘sometimes there just ain’t ennough rocks’,but you can’t kill us all and you can’t scare us into doing anything we don’t already choose to do. Because I don’t need to belittle what you have done in order to refuse to be impressed by it. We will impress ourselves when we board those trains in the morning, facing your guns and your bombs. And perhaps you will not be impressed by this, that doesn’t matter, eventually you will seize to be relevant. Your story is coming to a close.

So enjoy this day, for whatever remains of it at least, because tomorrow will again belong to us.

For we are Brussels, we are Belgium and we are not defeated!


have a nice day,




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