Uncomfortably Numb


It was early in the morning when the news of the suicide bombing in Hadera came in. A lone shahid had detonated himself in the open air market in town. Four people were listed as immediate casualties, with the death toll finally topping six two weeks later. I wondered if my parents could hear it from the confines of their house nearby. I imagined their living room windows shaking, reverbrations from the explosion piercing the treble-like clang of traffic on the coastal highway, much like how the sonic boom of a fighter plane infiltrates the physical structure of everything underneath it with its overwhelming, sub-bass frequencies.

It was an oddly fitting end to a work trip where politics was somehow always broadcasting itself from  the margins, like the perpetual ambient din of a street lamp at night, or the hum of an office computer that no one ever turns off. Such as when, on our first trip to Jerusalem together, driving along Highway Six, we saw the separation wall for the first time near Baka-al-Garbiyeh, and frankly, were not the least bit moved by it. For all of the remarkable injustice and stupidity  that this barrier clearly symbolized to us, we took notice of it, discussed its immorality, and drove on to our destination.

-Diary fragment, November 2005