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11M | Pain without masks

11M |  Pain without masks

Our life is also that of others, that life that inhabits every moment in all the people who live and populate this world. When someone commits a crime that takes other people’s lives, they are also taking part of ours. Maybe that’s why I still remember perfectly, with unusual clarity, what the morning of the March 11, 2004, its light, its temperature, and how the horrifying announcement of what had just happened in Madrid reached me. I will give details because perhaps this way I can convey the overwhelming nature of the immense cloud of pain that an event of this type will always fly over.

In my adventurous youth, I had been on both sides of the border of the law because of my penchant for exploring with prohibited substances. Several of my friends went to jail, but they never managed to catch me. In that game of cat and mouse, I ended up meeting some representatives of the law and, over the years, when I had already abandoned my toxic ways, I became friends with them. There had been nothing personal about the persecution, it was simply part of their job and they were amused by the vicissitudes and ingenuity of each party in solving their purposes.

On the morning of March 11, 2004, while I was buying books at La Central del Raval in Barcelona, my phone rang and one of those professionals spoke to me in a state of “shock.” He and his former companions had been urgently summoned to bring relief and help to a misfortune of gigantic dimensions which had just taken place at the Madrid Cercanías station. In the first moment of rest that he had in the day, before continuing to collaborate in the relief efforts, he needed to talk to someone who was very far away to attest and unburden himself of all the horror that he was seeing. She dialed looking for a friendly voice and it just so happened that it was me who she found alien and available. I will never forget the emotional cloud what that conversation contained; the pauses of breathing and tone, the immense magnitude of the criminal catastrophe concentrated in the nerve of just one voice: It was human pain without masks.

Still able to think, with the power of the human brain enervated by the injustice and indignity of the ferocious animality of some human acts, he transmitted to me the collateral meanings of what I was witnessing. He was used to his work. He had carried it out even in such adverse circumstances as the worst times of the nationalist terrorism (when fighting was a game as perverse and unfair as: you can kill me, but I can only stop you). But now it was a paradigm shift. Now, the one who killed gave himself permission to kill his adversary, his friend, and even himself. It was dementia, the absolute disappearance of any recognition, of any slightest indication in the human being of feeling affected by the pain of others. A few weeks later, one of his companions died when the assassins, cornered, They immolated themselves in an apartment in Leganés.

Since then the conviction has always accompanied me that the power based on ideals, When you want to be power in its purest form, your only and insane objective is to survive everything and everyone. Obviously, the only way to absolutely achieve that goal is to kill everyone else to be the only survivor. That’s why Pure power kills enemies, but in the end it also kills friends and anyone who passes by. Every benevolent being will always reject a sole survivor world because, what use would such a thing be to us? Whoever pursues an ideal to a toxic point is not fully himself, because he is actually looking for a mask to admire in order to be himself. But that way he will never be. Since then, I also know that our struggle as humans will be to face and share pain without masks. Something that only ordinary civilians know how to do well: always fight, with our limited means, but with the daily stubbornness of that flame that never goes out. Even if twenty years pass.