mon 01 feb 2016 08:32:26 witte de withstraat
on saturday night i spoke at some length with a friend who was attending the concert at the bataclan theater in paris when gunmen came in and started randomly killing people.
he was about four meters away from the stage when he and his friends started hearing fireworks from behind them to the left, and assumed it was part of the show until some people started to fall. his friend went down, with a bullet through the spine. he himself got down on the floor, in the blood, and stayed surprisingly calm, played dead and tried to control his breathing so as not to betray that he was alive. he thought he would be killed soon, because the gunmen kept shooting at the down people. the intruders spoke flawless french, and said they were taking revenge for the actions of françoise holland for bombing in syria. apparently he had to continue playing dead for over an hour. his phone was set to vibrate instead of ring, and he was grateful for that because the gunmen were taking aim at people whose phones rang. he started receiving text messages but ignoring the phone. his sweetheart was trying to get in touch with him, to warn him that something bad was happening andhe should be careful. the police had to enter the scene slowly, taking cover. one of the gunmen triggered a bomb and blew himself up, not far from where my friend lay. my friend said he felt the concussion blow past him, and there were parts of the attacker's body on him. finally the police called for a show of hands who was alive, and asked them to walk toward them with their hands over their heads. it was a gory mess they had to walk through. once outside in a courtyard, my friend and the people around him heard more fighting, and got invited in to someone's apartment for safety. then he started calling his loved ones to say he was alive. only later he learned that his friend who'd taken a bullet in the back had just survived, but was now paralyzed.
i had raised the subject with some hesitation, thinking he might not want to talk about the experience, but he said it was good to talk about it. i treated him and his girlfriend to drinks and desserts at zest. they tried the chocolate cake and the carrot cake.