Carrie Twomey • 9 September 2003

It started out - and still is - a lovely cool morning, the kind of cool that reminds me of my childhood when the house was cold and the day seemed apart from everything, wasn't quite what would come, until it started to warm itself up.

The morning has been punctuated by phone calls regarding the man who was shot in the Short Strand last night; the last few days have been marked by others worried about family of theirs who are under threat. Last week I had written in my journal about the toll this takes:

The other day I was thinking too on all of the people I have met and come to know and the misery I have seen. When I first started living here I was very firey, and outraged, and spoke out against a lot of what I saw. I don't know if I have become assimilated or inured to what I still see. I know now the consequences of speaking out better and I probably won't share this anywhere. But I have to write it.

What did I see? Mothers, sisters, aunts, nowhere else to go but my living room to plead for some sort of help for their son, brother, nephew - who had been shot or was about to be shot or a combination of both or some other awful thing, abducted and tortured, harassed and put out of their home, beaten in front of younger siblings, tales of blood everywhere, fright. I would suppose even just knowing this, hearing these things, seeing the ...results etched in all these women's faces would affect you. Maybe it is catching up with me. Seeing the madness in some of my neighbors, brought on by the way we live here.

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