Friday, 26 December 2008 - 12:31 pm


Things are still getting stranger.  I’d like to say ‘better’, but I’m not sure that’s entirely true.  Yesterday’s spurt of hope is tarnishing.

I’m surrounded by drained faces, brushed grey by the dust and smoke, punctuated by coughs.  Rest is something we snatch when we can – it’s dangerous to stop for too long.  Stopping leads to looking and thinking and that’s all too much. 

I have this.  I have my journal, my blog cluttering up on the laptop, waiting for that day when it can finally be uploaded and tell the world what happened here.  I don’t have to sit and look at the ruins around me, at the streak of blood across a shard of masonry, at the hand hopelessly reaching out, or the fire charring up the pages of a book.  I can do this instead.

I don’t know what I’ll do when the battery runs out. 


This morning, the faces of the firefighters were familiar.  I’m pretty sure that they didn’t go home.  They’re as faded as the rest of us; sometimes I think it’s only the bright, heavy jackets that make them seem to walk with authority and purpose.

We’re finding fewer and fewer people now.  Not so many under the rubble, but a few more stuck up on higher floors unable to get down.  We keep looking, though.  We can’t not, we can’t leave anyone behind here.

The queue to get to the hospital is only getting longer.  I don’t know when the ambulances last came to pick up – I’ve been so busy helping recover the injured that I haven’t been keeping an eye on where they were going.  When I saw the area this morning, some of the wounded were covered with sheets.  I didn’t look too closely.  I didn’t want to dwell on it, or try to recognise who they were. 

I keep identifying people by how we found them: the guy we peeled out of the back of a bus; the woman whose arm had been trapped under a checkout counter; the kid who got pinned under the big city Christmas tree.  As if all of this has stripped away our names and reduced us to our circumstances.  Somehow, people seem to know mine, though; they call me by it frequently.  It’s almost enough to make me hate it all over again.