A thronging mob of street performers in clown makeup clash against a public demonstration either pro or against something I wasn’t really paying attention to, before a newsstand vendor on a crowded thoroughfare at lunchtime on Sunday.
They both stop, halt, barely avoiding one another then look the other way before coming together once more. Some of them look down at a streetside wooden shelf in front of the newsdealer: Crisis in Japan, fear of nuclear disaster upfront on the cover of the week’s periodical.

Their glances cross one another’s; they nod and go their separate ways. But the fear of fallout remains.

Everywhere you go the fear remains, people scared of nuclear energy, people scared of the even-worse fatwas to ensue the toppling of the week’s muslim dictator, the collective fear of traffic and crime and growing up alone and by god the mileage of one’s car per liter of fuel.

That’s how we live but that’s also ho we die.

I had Cybill sleeping in my arms yesterday afternoon after lunch. We were both naked under the soft cool of the air-conditioner and my bedroom was all closed shut, tight against the scorching heat outside. She just lay there in utter silence but her footsteps reverberated inside my head like thunder pushing the mother-storm over the horizon, its booming soundwaves rippling out, crashing against all of my future expectations, exposing my nude vulnerability to a collective fear of an uncertain tomorrow and the fragility of my status-quo.
“What are you gonna do for the rest of your life,” her closed eyes asked me without a sound, “And who are you going to be with?”

I thought of you for one second, then thought of her for two.

Three seconds after that, the fear set in.