A Tale of Terror

Three night later I am in the same bathroom, cleaning myself for evening prayers. The tile floor is soaking wet, as always. We don’t have a working shower, so instead we fill a bucket with cold water—the only kind there is. We warm it with a long stick that turns bright red, then pour it over ourselves with a mug. Now, as I finish, I hear an explosion outside—then another, then more—maybe five in all. Were those rockets? Quickly, I note the time—a quarter to six—and run out to my father.

“Isn’t this a pretty big deal?” I say breathlessly.

“Sort of,” he replies mildly. “It’s a kind of welcoming for the jirga.” The conference to choose the new government is set begin in about a week; there may well be attempts to disrupt proceedings.

I run to the balcony—it’s just a small space where three or four people can stand—and lean out into the air. It’s as if nothing has happened. Everybody is still walking at the same pace; the cars continue their loop around the traffic circle, Except for a couple of people, nobody is searching the sky, or pointing and shouting “Heads up!”

“The whole city seems to be functioning pretty normal,” I report to my father.

“Yes,” he says. “Everybody’s just going about their own business. “

I stand there for a second, considering this. They’ve seen plenty of rockets here in Kabul. It’s hard to imagine that I’ll ever become so desensitized. And not just to rockets—to all of it. So far the place has been one relentless shock to my system.

Source: Come Back to Afghanistan- My Journey from California to Kabul by Said Hyder Akbar and Susan Burton


2 thoughts on “A Tale of Terror

  1. Sad reality, this what our society is about.
    One of my cousin thinks, walks, speaks, like a retarded mule, i hope he understands what you are trying to say.

    Liked by 1 person

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