Except for the youngster who’s been getting up early to play computer games, the family was asleep when I left the house.
San Mateo station was deserted this week.
Hardly anyone was at the station this morning. The trains were on their regular schedules, but in my car only 10% of the seats were filled. The Financial District is always quiet during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, so the commute into the City is a snap, whether one drives, takes the bus, or rides the train.
Adding to the feeling of lassitude were the overcast skies and steady rain. At the office the energy level was noticeably lower. There were only a couple of tasks that had to be done this week, as opposed to the usual dozen, and it required extra concentration not to linger over the Wall Street Journal, the Times, and favorite Web sites. The rows of darkened offices didn’t brighten the mood; they reminded me that many colleagues had people to see and places to go. Thankfully, none of them had gone to South Asia.
As the events on the other side of the globe remind us, there are worse things, much worse, than having to go into the office during Christmas week. The devastation over such a large area and the number of lives lost in such a short span of time have not been seen since World War II. In the wink of an eye a wall of water appears and obliterates a village or submerges whole islands.
Not the Internet, not biotechnology, not the exploration of space,the elections or the Olympics, the big story of 2004 may just be the oldest story in the world.