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  • Writer's pictureAnna Cabré-Verdiell Bosch

- Smoking gun -


27th of March 2020. Leeds, Uk, Earth.

He is playing video games next to me. He is very attentive, his eyes fixed in the telly. The sound of shooting guns is unceasing. I believe the goal is to kill others while avoiding others killing you. In other places a similar situation is real life; in my living room it´s a role playing game.

I once went to a paintball centre; one of those places where you wear a camouflage boiler suit and a shooting rifle. You get split into teams which then become rivals. Then you get into a battlefield inspired forested area and you run, hide, shoot and sweat. Adrenaline levels go up real quick and the cocktail of fear and excitement pumps you up. People are not supposed to shoot from the neck above or from a close up distance, but the stress of the situation makes everyone flaunt the rules at some point. I sure did.

It was a sunny day and I was with friends, celebrating someone’s birthday. I had fun. Hide and seek, cowboys and Indians, space marines versus orcs, cops and robbers…United States against Iraq, Israel versus Palestine, China invading Tibet, Russia cutting out Ukraine.

On the way home I felt ashamed. I think most of us did.

We bought war as entertainment and it was fun. Then we understood what we just did and the unconscious frivolity of our choice.

Back in my teens, during a wild summer in La Secuita, my grandad Jaume called me frivolous. That comment stayed with me; at first because I didn’t understand what it meant and at last because I wanted him to take it back. When years later I understood fully the significance of the word, my grandad Jaume was long gone. Surely he was right on his judgement, and surely I was all you can expect from a sixteen year old girl. That day though, on our way back from the fake battlefield, I wasn’t sixteen anymore, I was only a fool.

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