6.11.2003

i read, last night, that the north koreans are starving to the point of cannablism...they are digging up dead bodies and selling them...they are kidnapping children and slicing them up then selling the meat on the black market...people know what it is but the still buy it...this "special meat"...because they are that hungry...this consumes me and it hurts...i can barely think about anything else but this...it eats at the back of my mind...i'm tired...i want to tune out from the world...the news is to much and think it is weighing on me...it's pile is becoming to deep to let light through towards the bottom where i live...i read articles of bias towards islam about speeches of bias towards the infidels...everyone pointing fingers...people glad we are at war just as long as it's not their sons and daughters fighting in it...making their opinons heard from the comfort of their arm chairs...i need to simplify my life...i need to worry about little things...i need to come home and tune out...

6.10.2003

there's a constant sound to this place...a reminder of where we are...the sound is a mix between helicopters of all sorts and bombs exploding...tanks rolling down pavement and small arms fire...you can almost forget where you are once in a while...if you put in a good video...your reading a decent book...or sleeping soundly on your cot...but then it happens...sudden and uncalled for...

the choppers are of all sizes...the small but deadly apaches flying low all night long...hovering over my tent...searching for something...keeping us safe...the twin bladed chinook...transporting anybody and everything all over this country...creating twice the sound...the strange little british helicopters that look like magnum p.i.'s helicopter with missiles...the infamous black hawk leaning forward, turning suddenly, flying so close to the ground...the marine chopper with the long pole sticking out the front for refueling...they're all here...all the time...they fly so low that everything shakes and you can feel them...they are a continuous reminder that we are not at home and we are not at peace...apocalypse now...valkries...

at first your amazed...look at that...well isn't that the darndest thing...wow there's 6 more...then that turns to annoyance because they will float above you for some unknown reason...they will turn...flying in circles...maneuvers...practicing...honing their skills...perfecting their attack...

once while we were in afghanistan...right before the marines pulled out to make way for the 101st...the marines had to burn some fuel...so they were flying their cobras and their smaller chinooks...everywhere...for days...in tight formations...loose formations...constant...just being crazy ass marines...a chinook was obviously on a picture taking flight...flying low and stopping in places so that the passengers could lean outside and snap shots of our little dust bowl...my friend G. was taking a shower in our make shift showering set up...which consisted of a black bladder type bag that you heat up in the sun and then you unclamp this little hose and...viola...shower time fun anywhere you want...the chinook spotted him...it slowed then it stopped...right over his head...over our site...the plastic shower curtain kicked up and blown away...the helicopter joy riders leaning out...pointing...laughing...G. naked as the day he was born...covering his testicles with one hand and giving the helicopter the bird with the other...classic...you had to have been there...

E.O.D. stands for explosive ordnance disposal...they are the guys that find the bombs, mines, rockets, ammunition, what ever...and they blow it up...they create mushroom clouds and thunder claps...they love their job...they die...
sometimes the shockwave is so big that it will kick up dust off my equipment like a gust of wind and shake the van...it scares you occasionaly...other times you just pretend like you didn't hear it...because you can't really say something about it every time it happens...that would be stupid...

the explosions always freak the new guys out...it's great fun to watch...they will tense up...look around...you might even get a good F'n'G (fuckin new guy) to dive on the ground...it's kinda strange to me that explosions that rock trucks on their suspensions really don't scare me anymore...is that battle hardening...no i doubt it...there's no battle involved...

accidents happen...someone messes up...bad things happen...and unlike my job...when i mess up someone can't check their hotmail account for a little bit...e.o.d. mess ups leave body parts scattered...talk about a stressful work environment...most of us have no idea what a stressful job really is...in kandahar someone crossed a wrong wire and 6 people were leveled...6 people...were just gone...like they never existed...a detail was formed and soldiers were sent out to recover what was left of those poor people...they had to pick up body parts laying across the desert...they had to try and identify those body parts...i can't even fathom the horror of that scene...nor do i want to...

the small arms fire puts it over the top...the "tap tap tap" followed by a slightly lower pitched "TAPTAPTAP"...you here it...you know what it is...you go about your day...somewhere, someplace, soldiers are fighting the enemy hordes right now and you...go about your day...you hardly pay attention because it has become the backdrop to your life...a nonfiction surround sound...clearer then any movie...crystallized in truth...

i hate war movies now...i can't watch them...not because i've seen those things but because of how easily i could of...these things are real and they are more then a true life account...they are more then the t.v. screen...jobs suck...bosses ride your back...deadlines have to be made...but i'm sure that at no time will you have to worry for you life...these things are here and now...these things are being done...they are happening and we continue to go about our days...

even me...here...in the middle of badhdad...

6.08.2003

iraqi ants are lazy...but what they've lost to laziness they have made up for in ingenuity...they don't build hills in the dirt...they don't dig little holes through the ground and breed their young in the sanctity of the earth that spawned them...they do it in my cot...they do it in my spools of cable...they do it in my MRE boxes...protected from the elements...food readily available...water abundant...the life giving shelter of my home...

just the thought of all the "ant love" that i know is going on in there makes me sick...their little white prepubescent pupa wiggling like newborn rice...they are smarter then the average american reticulated dirt ant...they know that the are destined from great things...they come from the land that spawned civilization...they have above average noggins on the end of their black exoskeletons...oh the trouble they would reek on the puny dull ants of the america's...cocky...flamboyant...they could rule them...

i want to box them up and bring them back to the states with me...sneaking through customs...the ant box under one arm my pass port ready in the other...dark sunglasses...a fake mustache...no luggage...inconspicuous...ukrainian accent "i be in america for doing of important bizneess"...clearing customs smoothly...nonchalant...squeezing the box tighter under my arm...past the police...to the door...the air...freedom...i've made it...i trip on a luggage cart...falling...sprawling...the box flying away from me in slow motion...crashing into the ground i grunt...the mustache, the glasses knocked from my face...the ant box collapsing on the concrete...the ants sprinting away in every direction...people looking up...pointing...screaming at the sheer amount and virtuosity of the ant horde unleashed upon the sidewalk...me realizing that the situation i have now created is out of hand...i push myself up on to my feet...quickly but not to quickly...don't draw attention...blend in...disappear...i look around brushing myself off..."move along, nothing to see here"...i step away...attempting to melt into the crowd...the ants everywhere...on people...crawling up poles...up legs...ants taking over the country...people brushing themselves off...women and children screaming in horror...i step into the crowd and they form a circle around me not wanting to touch me for fear of the ant germs...i push into them moving with speed to the taxis that are waiting at the curb and freedom...i open the door stepping in and muttering an intersection to the driver...i begin to shut the door...i've made it...i've actually made it...the door stops...customs would like to have a word with me...could i please step out of the taxi...

or not...i've tried to clean them out...brush them off but they keep coming back...and as soon as i start messing with them again...i can feel them...everywhere...under my shirt...i brush at the back of me head...they're on my arms...i can feel them crawling...i look... nothing...he must of jumped...behind the ears...on my face...MY FACE!!...i slap at them...that kinda hurt...they aren't really there...my brain is creating false signals...it's horrified of stinging...it's jumpy...nervous...it thinks it feels them all over...it's instinct is to avoid them...ingrained and deep rooted in a million years of conditioning...so conditioned that even it's conditioning is conditioned...

the mosquitoes fly under my mosquito net to bite my feet...they fly under it...how can this be...how can a species that barely lives long enough to spawn young know to fly under a net that’s sole purpose is to keep them from getting in...the iraqi insects are of above average intellect...they've been forced to make do and think outside the box...12 years of sanctions will do that...they don't take anything for granted...they work around obstacles...they are problem solvers...insecti think tanks...destined for greatness and whose only draw back on world monarchy and domination is their lack of collossal size and mobility...but they will over come...the will adapt and over come obstecles...they will not be detured...they will bring their war to you...rest assured...look for it...count on it...