From Paris...

So I wasn't going to post anything, as I am one of those LL-ers who just likes to "watch" hehe... but I now figure I'll just share my thoughts to this wonderful, open, tolerant and informed community. Yeah, I know this is LL and I know this is my first post, but it is kinda relevant, so bear with me as I pop my LL-cherry.

We live in Paris. I was with my wife and kids at home watching the news unfold on Friday night, while also watching the France-Germany football game. Terrible stuff, every minute brought a new batch of bad news, a new location, new explosions. Soon came the Facebook safety "check", which our friends responded to. So we chatted with other Parisians on Facebook, and went to bed at 2 a.m. thinking what a shitty world we live in. Following morning, things were weird, kinda like on 9/12 or 9/13 in NY (we used to live in NY back then). Some good friends were visiting from the US, and we hadn't heard from them, so I drive to check if they were ok. Seems like they had lost their internet connection, and their family back home was going bat-shit crazy worrying. Drove back home, spent the afternoon with the kids. It's only a little later that I noticed that one of the Facebook safety statuses had been left unchanged by one of my closest friends, a childhood friend. I had sent him a few text messages during the day, because my wife said that she had a bad feeling. Those text messages were slightly irreverent, if you see what I mean, because I figured he was ok... these things only happen to others.

Then I got a text message from another friend stating that my childhood friend had been at the bar Le Carillon (cf pic). Turns out he was with a prospective customer for his business, who had stepped out for a cigarette, and my friend went with him. The customer was shot in the arm, my friend in the back. He died quickly, I believe. Now when people say so-and-so "was the sweetest man in the world", I feel like throwing up. But in this case, it is accurate. You could not imagine anybody nicer or kinder. The kind of guy who would give his left arm to help you. Or his life.

He leaves behind a grieving mother. He had no siblings and his father died when he was young.

Now after the January Charlie Hebdo shootings, they organised that very nice march, with heads of states, and everybody had that little badge "Je Suis Charlie", and then there were debates about people who were Charlie and people who weren't. Meanwhile, the bad guys were laughing and reloading, and almost nothing was done. This time, there are less #Iamthis or #Iamthat crap, and the State of Emergency has been declared for the next three months, which means that the police can arrest anyone, search anybody's home, detain anyone without a judge signing anything. Unsurprisingly, they've already found rocket launchers, and loads of AKs. Hopefully, these events will change things. And hopefully, my friend's death won't have been in vain.

Thanks for reading... not sure what the conclusion is: perhaps to realise that these things don't only happen to others, or that massive changes are needed, or that you've gotta go Carpe Diem and live your life accordingly, or that I am in shock and ought to seek therapy (goodness knows some LL submissions are shock-worthy...)

Oh, and France beat Germany 2-0.

Peace out.