Monday, August 11, 2008

The Opposite of "It's always darkest just before the dawn"

There was a line in yesterday's New York Times book review of Traffic that "feeling safe kills." While the reviewer referred to the feeling of invincibility that drivers of big SUVs have, it reminded me of how I felt just prior to having my wallet snatched at a neighborhood Starbucks. I was with my two children in a shop crowded with well-dressed, seemingly affluent, and friendly customers. When I couldn't find my wallet in my purse, I couldn't believe, for a moment, that it really might have been stolen in this well-lit and comfy place. It took several days for the shock to wear off.

I remember a similar feeling the weekend before 9/11. Hubby and I had attended a concert near Rockefeller Center and as we relaxed with a cocktail in an outdoor cafe afterward, I thought about how lucky we were to be in this wonderful, sophisticated, urban spot.

It is, I suppose, the reason that filmmakers linger on scenes of happy, well-adjusted folks just before the ax murderer arrives. It's the cliche of the calm before the storm.

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