Afghanistan hurts. Images recorded like those of Syria, Mozambique, Ethiopia... enter our homes and make us reflect. At least at the moment they are seen. There are so many places where black stories are written in ink of blood, so many today without tomorrow, that clinging to the now is more than an option. And to let the pain of that reflection pass, sometimes, too. Selfishness hurts.
Reality hurts, although unfortunately not always with the same intensity. Pain is dosed according to whether it comes from this side or the other. The closer and more familiar one or the one that doesn't keep us awake at night because it is too far away. It is as hard as that, as simple as that.
Wars hurt when they are shown over and over again, when we become part of them and feel, even if only for a few seconds, that we can go beyond the television screen and become part of it.
The anguish, the losses, the fears, the tears, the murmurings, the malice... hurt when we make the other a self. When our self is also another. But this exercise is not usually practised.
Poverty and misery hurt.
Deprivation and imposition hurt.
It hurts those children without a home or a roof over their heads who don't know the word love. It hurts the dawns that wake you up to go to work and not to school. The street hurts; the black eyes that pierce the windows of a car; the screams that come out of a window, even if it is closed; the moans of the early morning as they drown out the silence...
The economic interests that dance to the tune of those who pay the most hurt. The lack of scruples when the prize is power. Negotiations with cigars and a good drink in which ill-distributed notes overflow. Hearts rotten with ambition also hurt.
And Afghanistan hurts again, which encompasses all these pains; and its airport, that place of meeting and beginning, turned into a last chance and despair... into death. And it hurts what there has been and what, if one looks back, one senses is to come.
The lack of freedom hurts. The one they have already experienced under the Taliban's rule. And it hurts the covered and submissive woman; the girl denied and punished to be nothing for being born female.
And it also hurts the oblivion. The forgetfulness that many countries once had towards them despite the aid received. It hurts to think of the oblivion of those who have been left behind, thousands and thousands, with an uncertain future that could be fuelled by revenge and punishment. And it also hurts the media and the possibility that in time they too will fall silent and turn the page. Our own hurts too, which will fade like the smell of low-quality perfume as soon as all these images cease to appear every day, as soon as the memory is erased, and we make it normal.
Afghanistan hurts: its today, but also its tomorrow.