What’s it to me.

[ .via NY Times]

Terrorism that’s personal: a woman whose ex-husband threw acid on her face after she’d divorced him. He was not caught; she is not unique in this.

A piece by nicholas d. kristoff, short, unburdened by opinion, it was a narrative stuck to my mind like a damp feather caught in a weave.

I saw her, and then him. Or perhaps more accurately, i saw this picture, and felt confronted, disturbed, the sort where you squirm not out of defensiveness, but because you feel complicit, responsible.

Here is a woman, scarred. And my righteous self calls armies to the unjust lines bounding this woman, her son, and others like them. Trample the hurtful, and jail the hateful! Protect the weak, and return law to law! but for herself, do i dare conjure too many ideas about her being? She is the wronged, the victim, the ever-marked.

How dare my compassion be muddied by my ivoried ideals.

I do not know her, or her life, and yet i profess to care– but what is it to me?


what’s it to you?

a man is drinking at a lonesome bar
his bruised knuckles are primed for more alcohol
his wife is at home, trembling, flipping through the phone book
his children lie in bed, fighting their nightmares

a phone rings at an attourney’s office
his specialties are domestic abuse and divorce
his secretary is taking down notes for him
his daughter lies about homework and sleepovers

a foetus is growing in her abdomen
his father’s favourite pastime is pornography
his mother, the attourney’s daughter, is walking to an abortion clinic
his abortionist-to-be goes to church sometimes

a pastor is preaching about the meaning of life
his parishioners think the answer is meaningless
his cousin is staring at the water below the bridge
his brother, the attourney, is crying in his office

a soldier adjusts his rifle strap in Iran
his sergeant has just shot a bomb-strapped child
his sister, the secretary, is judging the wife-beater
his professor spends his saturdays sleeping with the attourney

a drug-pusher flicks his cigarette butt into the trash
his mortgage and debts forced him into the trade
his girlfriend, the abortionist, has liver cancer
his uncle, the soldier, hates all Muslims

a politician is calling the fire brigade
his home was set alight by the cigarette butt
his aunt is a discreet elections officer
his grandson is about to be aborted

the man drinking at the lonesome bar gets a call
his in-charge wants him to get into his fire rescue gear
his inebriated driving will run over the drug-pusher
his accident will be the topic for tonight’s tabloid

a society is going through its motions
what’s it to you?



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