I am enormously different from you, they say. Although we both have two palms and hands, although we both have teeth and a tailbone, we are as different as birds and lizards. We differ in terms of our experiences. When I look at Gouda cheese, I see my childhood and picnics with my parents, sister, and cousins. When I look at a ball, I see my squandered potential, my sweaty and dirty legs, and the dread of playing outside experienced by boys who often move. There are more differences than similarities between us. To me, my country is of paramount importance. When I see the white eagle, I want to cry, because it rekindles the memories of millions of people fighting for the country, and the feeling is overwhelming. When I go past the church on the tram, I take off my hat, because I remember how not so long ago, it was the only place where we could hide and speak about anything openly. It was our citadel of freethinking. There is no ‘us’ in this country anymore. There is ‘me’, and there is ‘you’. We do not have common dreams, common essence, the core which would get us on the right track when the hideous hand reaches for a knife hidden in the bosom. And when I look at the streets, where people used to ride horses some time ago, I am not fond of the other world. I only miss the times when I was young, and my youth was brutally taken away from me.
Perhaps not enormously. Perhaps a little less. Perhaps two hands and two legs can change a person more than their experiences. Perhaps the fact that the same needs wake us up at night, that is drinking, sleeping, eating, defecating, and f*cking – is much truer than who is right in an ideological argument. If I had a beak and feathers, would I not be more different from you? Perhaps this endless searching, comparing, coming back to the idealised past or the deintellectualised world of beautiful and simple things is much more toxic. Because I, for example, could say that my father would not beat me. And we were not as beaten as you. And that ‘prosperity’ did not go to our heads. And I also remember that I liked to play with a ball, which was once cut with a knife. But I still breathe and I speak; well, I am a representative of the only species which you can talk to. Is it not bigger than anything else? Perhaps every ideology will be less important than the fact that we are humans? And the fact that it seems so big only means that we have some human vices in common?
Or that we do not want to lie anymore. We do not want to do it today like you did not in the past. The youthful sentiment is the same, only moved in time.