Tuesday, June 19, 2007; 4:46 PM
Radios in heaven
There was a shooting rampage in Melbourne city yesterday morning, two people died and numerous more injured. Thankfully I wasn't in the city, I was instead busy making coffee all the way in the outer eastern suburbs, listening intently to the half-hourly breaking news updates on the radio at work. For one short second my heart stopped as my brain frantically tried to think if any of my friends were in the city that morning - and then my cellphone beeped.

I stared at my beeping cellphone in a silent stupor as I frothed my milk, the newscaster announcing on the radio that Melbourne city was now currently in lockdown, with nobody permitted to enter or leave the city as police go on a wild hunt for the gunsman on the loose. I felt a little shudder run down my spine, not wanting to pick up my phone and seeing anything telling me to rush to the hospital. The text message was from my friends, telling me of the news and anxiously telling me not to go into the city. It made me smile, how people immediately think of each other when they're worried and how it is expressed. How I was just thinking of my friends when they texted me and then McCool came running to my workplace to make sure I was there and not anywhere out of sight. And then I was relieved - the worst thing ever in the world is to have to pick up a phone and hear that something bad has happened to someone dear.

Melbourne though, of all places. Melbourne. I know we were the target of terrorists attacks back in the Commonwealth Games days, but I'd never thought there'd be a shooting rampage in Melbourne, of all places. This isn't USA. People don't carry guns around. How could anyone just walk around the city randomly shooting at people? It just doesn't happen.

Anyways, my mum has flown up to Queensland to finish up her final year of Uni, and all I can think about is my dog - who is going to give him his bath and trim his fur? I know my mum wants to spread her wings and she's still so young, and she wants to see what's out there - but I can't help but wonder how anyone could just drop all their responsibilities at the drop of a hat - leaving behind my old grandparents who need constant care, my father, my family, my dog, everything. I wouldn't be able to do it with a clear conscience, not at least without a lot of prior notice instead of leaving it to the last minute like she did. I know my mum dislikes being confined within the boundaries of our family, but -- it's something you chose to do. You married into this family, it's what you chose to undertake, right?

And then there are times when it's just the two of us at the train station, eating a rushed breakfast with tousled hair and sleepy eyes, then we look at each other and agree whole-heartedly that it would be nice to run away, right now - just leave on the train to somewhere far away and leave, drop everything just like that, without a word. I laugh and say we're like a young, irrational, runaway couple; you say I'm crazy beautiful, and it makes you do crazy things, like running away on a train with me. People run away a lot, and I kind of understand why mum wants to run away too.

Just don't run too far, don't run too far or we'll never find our way back when it matters the most.

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Blogger Nastasya said...
I'm really glad you're alright. It's really great when you know that there are people out there who truly care about you in a situation like that. But... not everyone carries a gun around in the US... maybe people down south but generally a lot of people don't even own guns, let alone carry them around. I'm just really really glad that you're alright and weren't anywhere near there.
I think moms kind of have a tendency to want to just run away and escape life and its responsibilities for a bit. She'll come back, I'm sure.