Child’s Play

Have you ever felt like your whole world crumbles?

If you have… maybe you’re as dramatic as me. But just as a funny fact; I haven’t always been this dramatic. Actually there’s been a series of uncontrolled events that took me to a trip down the darkness of my heart where I found the prejudices I had inside a cell that was built from the tears of the crying context that surrounds me. The one I blame.

Just kidding, I’m not a ‘blaming someone or something’ guy, that was just to make you an idea of the dramatic level I’m reaching lately.

Now, let’s travel to the past to a beautiful time when I was no dramatic at all.

When I was five years old…

Don’t worry, I’m not writing a bible about my life, it isn’t that interesting…

When I was five years old, there was a day where I went to a family event in the ranch of an uncle of mine. It was maybe a birthday or a baptism, I don’t remember, that’s not important. The case is that I was playing with two of my cousins all around the ranch; playing whatever kids play when they’re five… What I do recall is that we were running.

I’ll take a paragraph to appreciate the purity of this scene; three kids running, chasing each other, maybe sticks in their hands, maybe dirt in their pants or their shoes, laughing. The point is that life was easy, there was no mayor worry than play around uncle’s Manuel ranch. I think there was a dog too.

Anyhow, we get to some trees that were a little far from the party. Three trees (lol, not native english speaker, sorry). So, there were those leafy trees, and among them they generated like this kind of cave we discovered by walking through the branches. We claim it as a new secret place we’ve just discovered.

In the center of this space there was a metallic cover like a sewer and my cousin Jos opened it. Well, I don’t remember if it was Jos, Jorge or me who opened it but the fact is that suddenly the three of us were watching a bottomless hole. It was like a giant pipe. We screamed our names into the darkness delighted of the echoes the hole gave us back.

We returned to where the adults only to get some beer bottles from the trash so we came back to that place to throw them into the hole. We let the bottles fell into the dark and after several seconds, the hole returned amazing sounds of the crystal breaking in a hypnotic melody. We were kids trapped in a family event so that pipe became our new toy; we threw more bottles, rocks, sticks, more bottles and any kind of crap we found to discover what sound would it make.

Thats when we started making questions about where did that hole lead… So my cousin Jos, reckless and detached from material stuff took his shoe its shoelaces and hold it over the hole, swinging. Jorge and I knew him well so it didn’t surprised us when he put his shoe back on his feet. Then he put his hands on both sides of the pipe and he lifted his body to get suspended over that pit. He waited a few seconds and then he pushed himself out of that sewer. We laughed. Then Jorge did the same, and I did it after becouse the three of us were disposed to prove our courage.

And then we put back the metal cover and left.

We returned with the adults and told an uncle about what we’ve discovered. Then he explained that it was actually a sewer with a depth unimaginable for five year old kids. And he also explained that deep down, there was a turbulent water current that travelled far far away underground. We told him we threw some stuff in it and he went to tell our uncle Manuel. The next time we went to that ranch that sewer was sealed and children proof.

That’s pretty much what happened… ¿What were you expecting?

I wasn’t going to lie and kill one of my cousins just to make the story more tragic or interesting. But… ¿Why do I tell you this?

Well, actually it’s a curious thing; I remember myself swinging over that deep and dark hole but I don’t remember the perception of the danger we were running. I wasn’t scared and that makes me think about how easy it is to be brave when your whole world is about playing silly things. However, as I grew up, that memory unleashed all kind of concerns in my head. Everything because the simple fact of asking myself what would have happened if one of us haven’t been able to resist it’s own weight, or one of our hands haven’t been well supported. Of course it was a certain death in a memory filled with child’s play.

But it isn’t about the the sceneries of the ‘what if’ what makes me shiver at my twenty-one years old. But the fact that we’re totally ignorants about the fragility of life. And how a really small factor can make a difference between a silly memory where you played as a kid and a fatal trauma that would have chase a lot of people for a big part of our lives.

Now, with sixteen more years on the board I ask myself; ¿What is the tragedy about a child dying? ¡I know its awful! ¿But what makes it so horrible? ¿Because of its innocence and freedom from any guilt? ¿Because the vanish of all the odds of what could have been of that human being? I know I’m stepping on complex stuff, but I need to mention it to get to my actual fear.

How formed can a five year old kid’s identity can be? Yes, a kid can be funny and playful or calm, or smart or it may like running, or the blue color or even a favorite cartoon. But all of these innocent factors that conforms a kids identity are far from turning it the complex person it can become one day.

I believe that people come to this world as empty boxes, and we’re filling ourselves with information we gain since we open our eyes for the first time. Many of this information we can not control but it still makes us who we are. So then, having said that, the tragedy about a kid dying can be attenuated by the fact of the simplicity of a life that was lived to the fullest. And the kid was perceived as a whole being because of the little information it lived by. And here’s my fear; ¿how many people would actually know me completely if suddenly disappear? The answer is none. I don’t know if it’s a good thing, or a bad thing, but it’s a concern that who knows how many random stuff it will make me write.

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