We all know the good girls and the men they travel with. I saw them this morning at the pet market and didn’t think anything of it. They were receiving instruction, yes, that is often the case; it is an education for them to be among people. I was going to say normal people, forgive me. Yes, sometimes it is religious instruction. I didn’t listen. May I go now? No, I don’t know who the men were. I was there to buy bunnies. We know them to see them, but not their names. They are the special girls who don’t know what it is to sin. Whether this guarantees them a place in heaven is something we sometimes debate, but I thought of none of this before the blasts, only of what I might find at the market. Yes, I saw the girls and yes, I heard the explosions and yes, I know some of the dead. Now, really, I have business. My mice need water in this heat. Of course, they have come to my stall. They love all small things: birds, mice, rabbits. To watch them hold a small thing is to witness grace. I agree they love to please, but it is not in their nature to harm. They can’t have known how they were being used. Of course, the idea sickens me. How could it not sicken me? Am I not a man? What do you want? Should I condemn this outrage? I condemn it! When tomorrow a group that claims to represent me will do the same? I condemn them all. No, I don’t know who or where! I live my life the best I can. Why is my good life not offered as an example? What is my crime? Not killing in return?

Copyright © February 11, 2008 David Hodges

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