Thursday, October 18, 2007

Why I'm not an Afghani, and You Can Too

I just took a look at my Google profile, and apparently I live in Afghanistan. This is unfortunate. Afghanistan is a horrible place. I know this because I'm currently reading a book about it.

It previous blogs I have admitted to only reading crap. While this is generally true, it is not always true. Right now I am reading a book by the guy who wrote "Kite Runner," although the title eludes me at this moment. It's about a couple of women both of whom grow from girlhood to motherhood in and around Kabul. Their lives start out as shit, continue being shit, and will no doubt end up shit unless they get out of Afghanistan. With every page I turn I hope ever more fervently that these poor females escape.

In the beginning of this book that's not The Kite Runner, these 2 females are born, albeit in different parts of the country. One is a bastard born of a mother who just barely refrained from aborting her with a coat hanger, the other has it relatively okay, except for the fact that her 2 brothers have been killed in a war and her mother is permanently abed with severe depression. Still, this girl has a boyfriend, and even though he's only got one leg, he winds up giving her a good schtupping before he goes off and gets himself killed by standing in front of somebodies mortar shell. The bastard girl gets married off to a brute with a hairline like a werewolf, who quickly grows to hate her for miscarrying all his kids. Then after the Mujaheddin bomb the other girl's house, and all the rest of her family are killed, she's unlucky enough to be dug out of the rubble by this very same brute and his miserable wife who hates her for a couple of years, but eventually ends up befriending her because what the hell else is she going to do?

Hilarity doesn't ensue.

They point is that with most stories of countries, bad periods are described, but good periods come afterwards. Germany, Britain, Argentina, Chile. Yeah, it always gets sucky somewhere down the line, but then the good times come and people go dancing again, are able to get wine, plant flowers, and bury their dead.

As far as I can tell, Afghanistan has been shit forever. This book that I'm reading, the one that's not The Kite Runner, hardly has any laughs at all. I can smell the brute husband's breath: of cigarettes, pickled onions, and rank meat as he mercilessly humps his hapless wives, see the cracked brown skin of his fist as he beats the crap out of them, and hear his slobbering apnetic snores. I can smell the stinky, litter, filth, and vermin infested streets down which he rides his bicycle to work, as well as the smelly leather with which he fashions shoes. Worst of all, I can feel the hell his two main characters are in. The one in which intelligence atrophies from lack of use, bitterness and sadness grow like tumors, and the only reason for not committing suicide is that if you fuck it up, some turban wearing uber misogynists will come along, nail you to a tree and flay you alive.

So I'm glad I don't live in Afghanistan, though it's fine if Google thinks I do. It can think I live on the moon for all I care.

1 comment:

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