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Thoughts of the faraway...

Where I come from failure is a sin. It is impossible to happen to those you know, and when it happens to those you know of, the polluted air covers it up in dust as if an old memory hidden somewhere in a corner of the attic.

That is what happens to people who fail, people who don’t have anything worth the attention. They disappear in the city of dust and only come back through stories told youngsters who can learn from the mistakes of cousins they have never met. They have never met those cousins who have failed, because nobody you know ever fails. No. Wrong. Taboo. The only people who were part of the family and failed, are those in stories, those you haven’t met. And you don’t want to be them. You don’t want to be told and retold as a story of failure. A fable inherited through generations, most often renewed…

These stories are told and retold to naughty little possible failures, until one day, one of their victims fails. Then the world around them crumbles to dust. Then they start disappearing into the dust. The ground opens and swallows them in shame, just like the fables say. And then, they’re invisible.

Their mothers and fathers and sisters and brothers pretend nothing happened, but they live in shame and they never mention the fable unless to their closest relatives, to whom they complain about God giving them this ‘problem’, this huge shameful mark in their lives that has branded them forever.  And they promise, they promise to sky and earth, they did all they could and gave all they could to this son or daughter.

The relatives say kind words, sympathising with the family in this difficult time. They make it seem as if nothing happened and one sunny day all will go back to normal. But it won’t.

Once you’re branded, it won’t go away. Once you’ve failed, you can’t win anymore. Once you’ve been swallowed, you can never see the sun again. 

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