It was just a few days after the terrorist attacks in Brussels. The second I entered the subway station I noticed two police officers standing right near the entrance. There were two more walking around inside.
Unusual, but no one seemed concerned about anything, including them, so I put it out of my mind. When I arrived at my destination I saw two officers walking along the platform and another two upstairs. On my return trip I noticed teams of officers on the platforms at all the stops.
And that’s when it hit me. This must be happening because of Brussels. It really gave me the creeps. My first thought was, there must be some imminent threat, we’re under attack. Sanity prevailed and just as quickly I figured they were just being cautious, rightly so, and taking precautions, trying to be ready, to prevent a disaster, should there be one.
I guess this is the new normal.
Very sad indeed. That those of us who live in the supposedly free world, who just try to go about our daily business, should now have to fear for our lives. To constantly be on our guard. Constantly on the alert, suspicious of anything out of the norm. To be suspicious of anyone, everyone.
Since that experience I am very much aware of a change in myself. My spidey sense is in overdrive. The other day I was in a large retail/office/apartment complex that’s located on a major intersection in downtown Toronto. As soon as I walked in the door I noticed a knapsack on the ground, leaning against a column. Nobody was standing beside it.
There was a time I probably wouldn’t even have seen it, let alone have paid any attention to it. There was a time I wouldn’t have been on the look-out for the unusual. But that was then and this is now and it seems those days are gone, probably forever.
So I stood there, trying to figure out what to do, hoping somebody would suddenly appear, frantically searching for the item they’d left behind. I hated the feeling of paranoia washing over me. I wondered, was I over-reacting, being crazy? I wanted to get on with my day, but I couldn’t leave the knapsack there, couldn’t do nothing. What if …?
In the end I knew I could never live with myself if there had been a bomb in it. So I went to the Security desk and reported it. And then I got the hell out of there!
Haven’t heard anything on the News, so I’m assuming it was nothing. Thank God!
But I can’t get Marvin Gaye’s song out of my head. You know the one, “What’s Going On?” He was lamenting something else, but the lyrics are as relevant now (for different reasons) as they were then:
There’s too many of you crying
Brother, brother, brother
There’s far too many of you dying
You know we’ve got to find a way
To bring some lovin’ here today – Ya …”