Kristin Jankowski: Lonely tears at the sidewalk

Posted on November 20, 2012 by



It was the first time I have seen my friend crying. We sat on the sidewalk. He wiped his tears from the cheeks. I didn’t look at him, I kept silent. Just like him. Behind us was a young man, he had an injured leg. Perhaps broken. I do not know. He had glassy eyes. Then the next guy came. Two men held him by the arms. He was bleeding in his face.

There was a small field hospital. A man lay on the floor, curled up. A young doctor did her best to help the injured. When I hugged her to greet, I felt that her body was shaking. I hugged her for seconds.

I didn’t say anything.  Sometimes every word is too much.

There I sat. And my friend was crying next to me.

It was on the corner of Mohamed Mahmoud Street. Exactly one year ago there were clashes between Egyptian security forces and protesters. Memories rushed through my head. And now,  one year later, riots occurred again. I came when they have stopped shooting with teargas. On another street corner, stones flew. Hot potatoes were  sold by vendors.

Young men had tied their scarves around their faces.

It was the day of remembrance of the people who died a year ago during the clashes. A sad day. A day that evoked the memories.  And the ambulances  were back again. A day that suddenly overtook us with a tremendous force again. We all have  these memories in our heads. They are blurred.  We have to put them together like a puzzle.

And we have to go back to our so called daily routine.

His memories made my friend so sad. It was the bitter reality that made him crying. Yes, he had good reasons to cry. All the suffering that is happening around us. Every day. Almost everywhere. The suffering we are responsible for. The pain we don’t want to see. And prefer to  blame someone else for it. The suffering that we just accept. And we keep silent.

We switch on the TV to get distracted. Get paralyzed.

We take Anti-Depressive. Otherwise we wouldn’t stand it anymore.

Smoking, drinking, gambling. Swaggering.

But crying alone at night.

Yes, there are many reasons to let the tears roll. The Madness. The hunger, the poverty, the stock market, the bombs, the hatred, the supermarkets which are offering shampoos with thirty different fragrances. The ignorant superficiality.  Aren’t that reasons to cry like a child ?

Are we all gone mad ? Can the world stop for a moment ? So we can make a proper reality-check.

Am I ridiculous when I say everything is totally out of control? Totally upside down.

No, I guess not. But the silence is keeping it alive. It is like the fairy tale about the emperor who was naked, but no one was brave enough to tell him.

We go to prostitutes to buy us some love. Because we can’t feel it anymore.  We sniff cocaine to feel finally happy again. For a couple of hours. And a few hours later we are empty again.

And if we give orders to kill innocent people then we are just doing it because of selfdefence.

No doubt.

It is insane.

How far can that madness go ?

Lonely tears at the sidewalk.

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