6.06.2003

my girlfriend moved to be "closer" to me...haha the jokes on her...teeheehee giggle giggle...giggle...because i love being in iraq...it's great...if you're into sucking ass...which i am...because i'm cool like that...closet sadomasochist...bedroom naked runner...shower time break-dancer...

we met by chance...we fell in love on purpose...we drove for hours to be with each other all the time...{just for the record the city of Blythe CA has absolutely nothing to offer the population of any where except said city and should further more be banned from selling all petroleum products to hapless passersby until the price of said petroleum is lowered back to earth prices}...nights spent in hotel rooms the exact median between me in my fort and her in california...the phone calls...the miles...the plane flights...and the tears at every departure...that life is for the birds...but what is this one for...

i pee on her feet when we're in the shower...i can't help it...i really can't...it's the warm water and all...she screams as i guess any normal person would but c'mon it's just a little urine...a little pee pee neva hurt nobody...except if you drink it and i'm diffinently not into that...or am i...note to self..."drink own urine"...

i speak to her every night care of the government...your tax dollars at work...thank you very much...the phone line is always crackling and echoing...it cuts out all the time and i have to try for hours some times just to get through and usually by that time it's late...ridiculously late and she's asleep and i would be content just to listen to her breath as she lays there with the phone resting on her cheek...
i'm one of the lucky ones...i work communications so i can use a phone when ever i want...each job in the military has it's perks...unless, of course...you're an infantry puke...they just stop bullets and win wars...
supply guys always have cool stuff and quartermasters always have showers and laundry services...motor pool guys have the know how to fix air conditioners and generators not to mention "hajji trucks" they find on the side of the baghdady expressway...but i can call home and make blogs and read extremely informative articles about phone booths in the middle of the mojave desert...time well spent...money well earned...

i wait for equipment to break...it's extremely boring so don't let all the buzzing whirring lights and knobs throw you...a monkey could do it...if you could teach him to read...and make him comprehend electricity...and then explain the importance of satellites while stressing the importance of radiation and Z band frequencies...and, of course, keep him from pooping inside the equipment...really though he could do it...

i don't need to be on the computer all the time but i've noticed that if i'm in front of it i'm using it...i used to read so much...a book a day...now i use a touch pad until i get rug burns on the bottom of my hands...little ones...their not that bad so please don't worry...no really...i said it's ok...

right now there is a 220 lb. man 1' from me...it's pretty cramped...but it's all part of the "sucking ass" that i'm so addicted to...he breathes on me...it's warm...kinda tangy...it keeps me awake...the air is recycled through the a/c...he farts and it smells like bad peanuts...i'm protecting your freedoms...

it's harder to convey then one would think...the sum total...the multiplied emotion of being away...so very far away from the one you love...we talk about our days...but mine are always identical to the last 6...nothing ever happens...she works two jobs and she is always so tired...we talk late...in the middle of the night and she gets up early...sometimes she's grouchy and used up...and i'm so sorry for it...i want to take her wonderful head between my hands and tell her "poor sweat baby it will be ok"...then kiss her on her long neck...my heaven is a queen sized bed under big blankets...some legs interlaced through mine...a little nose breathing little sleep breaths on my chest...and waking up slowly...ever so slowly...on my own...

i tell myself everyday that this can't last forever...they have to send us home eventually...but i need a date...i need to know when my shift ends...i look forward to things...they keep me motivated...keep me going...i can do anything as long as i know when i can stop doing everything...i'm funny like that...i need closure...

go buy this cd...hybrid: wider angle...

6.05.2003

i convoyed for 36 hours, through a combat zone...and i can't spell...i slapped myself to stay awake...i proof read occasionally...there were no "real" seats in my HMMV, only foam padding...i use microsoft word spellchecker but it doesn't help if you can't tell the difference between "to" and "too"...i had to pee in a water bottle while driving because we sure as hell weren't stopping for piss breaks..."they're" and "there"...i nearly shit myself every time an iraqi came up to me to beg for food...don't forget "accepted" and "excepted"...i had heard stories of iraqi nationals throwing grenades in the cabs of the trucks as they drove by...

"hear" and "here"...

there was a no mans land between kuwait and iraq...if you can call it that...it was more like two piles of dirt that disappeared off into infinity...and immediately upon crossing the border we stepped into another world...
in kuwait you will see it all...extreme poverty to extreme wealth...there are still people living in tents on the side of the expressway...with there camels just like their nomadic ancestors of 100 years ago...they have cadillacs that they park next to these tents...they don't shower...strange isn't the word...

"where" and "wear"

but in iraq...the children were everywhere...excited...laughing...waving...running out in the middle of the street to make us stop...they were hungry...they had stuff to sell us...they wanted to trade money...one dollar...just one dollar for a brand new never been used "saddam dollar"...any thing with saddams face on it is now worthless and saddams face is on everything...i thought about getting a "saddam dollar"...not really for the money itself but more for the chance to help the poor people...grass huts...no plumbing...shoes? please...they have nothing...and i don't really think the sanctions made a difference in these peoples plight...they had nothing from the get go...

"through" and "threw"

the trucks would break down...they would be left...because who the hell is going to stay with them...it is iraq...so we would leave them...and we would pass others...they weren't trucks any more...they were shells and frames...everything stripped...bare bones...the iraqis will take everything...they will find a use...they will melt it down...they will put HMMV tires on their goat carts...they will thank allah...and they will keep right on living the only way they know how...by using and appreciating everything that is offered to them...why don't we do that...why do we bitch and moan...it's all there in front of us...but we complain...

"know" and "no"

in sarajevo my buddy, irfan, lived in an apartment with his parents...directly across the hall was a crater...it used to be an apartment...before the war...before he was shot by a sniper...before he was evacuated to the united states...i never really heard him complain about much...just between you and me i think he was to busy being thrilled that he was still alive...

"wear" and "where"

there are some infantry pukes living outside my van...they have a tent and some cots that they trade off on because there aren't enough for everyone...they sleep in shifts...they have the clothes on their backs...i don't know where their bags are at but they sure as hell aren't with them...so they wear the same clothes everyday...the same socks...the same underwear...they've been living outside my van for about a month...they got shot at too...and i do hear them complain...but i think they've earned it...

"whole" and "hole"

everything is relative i guess...even time...perspectives...and worth...
but some things shouldn't be...some should just be a given...some things should just make you feel glad to be alive...should make you take a deep breath that fills your chest and tilts your head back...i do that...sometimes when i'm driving i look around...i hear my music...my wonderful music...and i feel it...that enveloping tingle of contentment...it'll hit you when you least expect it and for the most surprising reasons...it hits me...even out here...when i'm running in the morning through saddams gardens and around his lakes...i feel it...life is an adventure and you never know where you might suddenly get struck with the spark of life...like in saddam hussein's house...

i'm a horrable speller

6.04.2003

saddam's palace has holes...up on the third floor they're about 2 feet wide...the second they're about twice that and, well, the first floor is not existent...i'm not really to sure of the reason but if i had to take a wild guess i would say termites...and if by termites i mean giant ass bombs then i would be cooo rect...i walked around a bit...i gave the palace a once over...it's shoddy...from a distance it looks beautiful just like sarajevo and arizona...but up close its horrible...dirty...ill made...next to worthless...painted poorly...laid lousily...
unskilled craftsmen?...or uncaring...
outside my van i have a mosaic on a wall that is of saddam punching a tree or something...i don't know what he's doing but it's horrible...the only thing that gives away the identity of the profile is the mustache...saddam loved himself...they're pictures of himself every where...i think that he thought that if he acted as though the country loved him they would forget that they don't and start to believe it their selves...

have you ever seen someone's house that was decorated as if they were trying very hard to be chic and debonair...they have all the money and the wants but none of the taste...velvet paintings...furniture from the fifties...an old T.V. just for effect...that's the way saddam decorated...he wanted to be royalty so bad...he wanted to play the part...but he was trash...he didn't have it in him...he was a hypocrite too...a few weeks ago i heard a story of some infantry pukes finding saddam personal stash of liquor...he supposedly had quite a stash...christal...moet...jim beam...the pukes are drinking it up...as they should...if they're old enough to fight and die i think they're old enough to drink up saddam's whiskey...all those in favor...all those opposed...
everything here is half done...there are million dollar homes half complete...it's like he was building homes for everyone he ever knew...to be in his favor must of been something...but i think falling out of his favor could be quite a doosy...in a figurative way of course...

i took pictures of myself in his yacht...i'm a pimp...if you can call it a yacht...more like an old house boat that some weird uncle of yours lives in...
i drove around this place...the palace grounds...for over 3 hours and i didn't even come close to seeing all of it...at least 4 man made lakes...two islands...one of them even has a draw bridge...A DRAW BRIDGE...this guy was on a trip from reality...he had a personal dairy farm...he had cows...because saddam likes his milk fresh...none of the homogenized stuff for the big guy...the cows are dead now...they smell...i left...

his thrown was hilarious...it was like something out of a movie...it wasn't nice at all...it was big and painted gold with a moron cushion...it was like something Aladdin would sit in...i sat in it with my rifle...i smiled real big...i got my picture taken...i sat where the "big" guy sat...i think there was an indention...my butt crack was in saddam indention...i can die now...

the main palace on these grounds is to big to describe...it must be seen to be fully appreciated...it's breathtaking...but it's tiny compared to the others...the presidential palace...where all the business took place...you've just got to see it...giant bronze statues of the big guy on the roof pointed out to the city...a rose garden extended for at least a half mile straight back from the rear of the building...orange orchards on either side and my buddy T. right in the middle of it...smoking his cuban cigars and excepting favors from the troops for phone calls...some of those guys haven't called home in 4 months...imagine that...luckily i can call home when ever i want...it could be so much worse...
we went to the roof of the presidential palace...i could actually see 3 other palaces...i could see the giant upright arms extending from the ground holding their swords...
when i drove there i got the feeling that baghdad was once beautiful...i also got the feeling that it would be again...

i drove past the tank...the troops sitting on top...an iraqi vehicle tried to follow me in and the troops pointed their weapons and i got scared..would they kill this fool behind me...trying their patience...i looked back at them...they were kids...out on a friday night...they don't go to the club or the movies...they go to pester the american soldiers...it's fun, you see, to have weapons pointed at you...it's kinda like sky diving or like being on a water slide...good fun...good honest fun...

i sleep in a tent...i've done it for years now...not all at once but off and on...i never get used to it...in afghanistan we didn't have a floor we had dirt...no matter where you go there is always dirt...but since i've left home i see one kind all the time...it's like talcum powder...they call it moon dust...you step and a little cloud puffs up around you feet...when you come home from work everything you own is covered in a few millimeters of it...imagine that if you can...you come back to your home and you walk in the door and absolutely everything you own is covered in an inch of white powder...now imagine doing it for six to eight months...imagine sitting in your tent which is more like a green house...the temperature is pushing 130...your sweating profusely...you try to sleep because you are the night shift...you can't so you don't...you lay there...day after day...you sleep an hour here and hour there...then about 3 days later your body quits and you sleep great...i always loved that day...the heat doesn't bother you...you sleep like a baby...you wake up refreshed...you wait three days to sleep again...you get used to it...you do it for 6 to 8 months...this is what we do...we have our reasons...they aren't that good...

i shower with water bottles that i heat up in a hot pot that i brought with me from the states...you see i know how to deploy...i've done this before...a hot pot means so much...hot water to shower...hot water to wash your clothes...hot water for your spaghetti...i know how to deploy...i've done it enough
Baghdad 13:32
Sweaty soldier/mad at his private
the first scud alarm scared the crap out of me...i was reading and t. was playing video games...inside the van it's so loud because of all the high pitched equipment so when the whirring whistling game paused and we both heard the siren at the same time we looked up at each other with crooked eyebrows...i turned and opened the little door to our world and out side i saw them...gasmasks...running attached to people...running...cusswords were used and we both stood up into each other banging heads because that is how small our world is...the door swung open chairs were thrown out and we jumped from the tailgate to the ground...a mad scramble...frantic searching...gasmasks...rifles...chemical suits...check, check, check...then we were off to the bomb shelter...which is little more then a box made out of concrete and if you don't get there first then you have to stand out side or crouch as close as you can to the door...the siren keeps wailing...loud...a single continuous note for scuds...like a tornado alarm out of the midwest...wwwhhHHHOOOOOOOO...for five solid minutes before it dies down only to start again...we sit inside the little box...nervous...shifting in the dirt...eyeing each other and a few people feel it is their place to make light of the situation..."SHUT UP MAN DON'T YOU KNOW THERE'S A WAR ON!!"...this is no place for jokes...besides you have to repeat them 3 times before anyone can hear them through the masks...pointless...and the whole time your back ground music to life is wwwhhHHHHOOOOOOO...irritating...i'm mean c'mon already...it's been ten minutes...everyone knows scuds are in the air and if they haven't already sought out their own little concrete box, well then they deserve the napalm death that's inevitably going to be showered down upon them...you look around and you see legs jiggling fingers tapping and one dude even has the audacity to pretend that he is sleeping...like he's something out of "Black Hawk Down"...."people ask me if i'm a war junky and i say no...i do it for that guy next to you"...right...and we sit 10 minutes more and it's now longer then any of the drills and i'm getting nervous...the patriots have since quit firing off to intercept ancient weaponry...they always freak me out...the "THUMP, THUMP"...deep noises you can feel...rumbling...they always come in twos because what if the first one misses...redundancy...got to love the army...cover all your asses...we sit...i drink water through my canteen and the little straw that comes in the mask...tastes like rubber...i feel it start to come on...slowly at first then quicker...the claustrophobic feeling of being caught...the mask gets tighter...it's hard to breath all of a sudden...hyperventilation...the mask regulates how much air comes in so it is never enough...and i won't to pull this damn thing off...right now...I'M DONE!!! YOU HEAR ME SHIT HEAD I'M DONE!!!...i sit there longer...then after 25 minutes...after the final wwwhhhHHHOOOOO slows down and disappears...after everyone sits there staring at each other but not seeing them....trying to hear harder...don't let it come not the siren that means bad things...the one that says "Yep it's that time folks...time to put on the Chemical suit because the deadly nerve toxins are in the air...QUICK...you've only got about 2 minutes before you fall down twitching like a cockroach...don't say i didn't warn you"...then it comes and it's another frantic scramble...gas masks running every where...i'm up moving over the radiation fence of my dish...to the back of my HMMV...i drop the weapon...rip open the pack...and put the suit on as fast as i can...but it will never be fast enough...there coming...death you can't see is coming....the siren wailing it's new music...wHOO weee whOOO weeee wHOO weeee...my mask on i can't see...i have to work like an iguana...using one eye...the pants...the top...the string under the crotch...connected...the rubber galoshes...the hood up and over...pull string tightened...now i check out Troy..."NO MAN YOU MISSED A SPOT WITH THE VELCRO!!! HOLY SHIT MAN YOU'RE GONNA DIE!!! LET ME DO IT!!"...and then he looks at my suit and he screams that i missed the same spot too...i don't wanna die...now we put on the rubber gloves...you save these for last because with them on you can't do anything with your hands...i don't even understand why they have separate finger spots...just make them mittens for crying out loud...then we're done...we stare at each other...wHOO weee wHOOO weeee....then as quickly as it began...it's over...the siren we pray for sounds...you know the one that sounds like a european police car...there it is...we cheated death again...oh lucky day...we take the suits off...we package them up...we put the bags back in their places...we step back into our little world...i shut the door...i pick my book back up...T. unpauses the video game...life moves on as if nothing happened...because if you think about it...nothing really did
Baghdad 10:46
tired soldier/just ate some cookies

6.03.2003

i'm doing this again...it's only fitting since the last time i was in sarajevo...it really is strange to me how i keep ending up in the same situations except they're totally different...last time i had mountains and a blown up sky scraper this time i've got desert and blown up palace...now i've got more rank and my own troops...so now i'm the shot caller big baller...the pressures on...

i'll get off shift soon and i'll drive past the checkpoint and maybe, just maybe the soldier in the turret won't be asleep and the gunfire out side the wire will die down enough for me to read in peace before it gets to late...that's a big maybe...by the time i get home and i look back on all of this for the second time i'll chuckle the way i've become used to and remember how the gunfire and death would ruin a good night of sleep...in kandahar i would here the mortors like an alarm clock and i would do what any one does when the clock goes off...i'd role over and pretend like i didn't here it...you can almost convice yourself of anything if you act it long enough...

thats to scary for words...i had myself convinced for the last 5 years that i would work with these here satellites for all of eternity and then my epiphany struck in the port john back in kuwait and i realized that in 6 months i'd be free again...finally after 6 years i would be free and on another life altering course...6 months...a rebirth...so now i'd say i'm in the first trimester...i'm such a baby...

the sitting and the waiting is making it so tiring...i really don't do anything all day and i get upset if they come along and throw some silly assignment in my lap because i'm really too busy doing nothing to be bothered...i've got it so easy...i mean c'mon...i could be getting dirty out there in the Baghdad and then i'd have to wash my uniform with cold water and shampoo...not to mention all the weapon cleaning i'd have to do because of all the ammunition i'd be expelling to save the lives of my fellow soldiers because lets face it...i'm a hero in waiting...i'm itching to pull the sword from the rubble stone and strike down on all who oppose Bush and what not...these people out there in the city are living with so much forced upon them how can i complain...except that i live to fight for things i don't believe in...the latter seems harder to do with a clear conscience...while the prior seems much harder to do with all your family members breathing...

i don't fully agree with being here but i am extremely glad to see the good that is coming of it...
tired soldier, needs a shower 20:16