6.22.2007

Another Day In The Life

Up before the sun even scratches its balls, out and about long before I should ever awake, knocking smiling waving murdering the Arabic language with my greetings. Kicking bending breaking smashing yanking. Searching glancing observing watching. Circle a few of these, maybe even all, and you'll have a typical day, plus or minus a few events.

I do my best to pantomime and speak slowly in a pitiful mish-mash of English and the half dozen Arabic words I know, apologizing to someone for the damages we caused to an ABANDONED house, and that we'll compensate the owner. Does this guy's tribe or whatever hate us? Ha, probably. And here I am trying to level with him. He smiles and more or less lets me know that its no big deal, but I know it's probably a different story in truth. The guy watched us wreak havoc, and then he followed us to make sure we weren't looting. I don't blame him. There's a lot of things I'd love to loot from abandoned houses.

But looting and the taking of war trophies is against our policy. Amidst all of this fucked up mess, they're worried about us taking things from ABANDONED homes. People who are either dead or LOOOOOOONG GOOOOONE, but hey, they might come back when this is all said and done, kick out any squatters, and wonder where some little fucking trinket that they left behind is, while they were busy turning tail and running rather than DEFENDING THEIR HOMES. In effect, they just make it easier for the bad guys to win. But no, you can't take some piece of dust-collecting what-have-you to send home to your family. And who's to say what officers and NCOs abide by that, and which ones are going to have cool shit in their living room. No way of knowing. The wrong type of leadership could easily fry your ass for something as trivial as that though. Just one more tiny "Fuck you, Joe" that comes with some REAL reason that we lowly turds really don't care about.

It was supposed to be a short day, but those never happen. Not to us. As we ride in the stryker, talking shit in ways barbershops can't compare to, we're suddenly told, "Prepare to dismount! Get a flashbang ready! And be ready to detain someone!"

This makes me go into Fuck Yeah mode. Flashbang grenades? Sweeeet! This is apparently a big deal, and we're probably going to see some action.

We get very limited information and the ramp drops. I'm the first one out and I run around the vehicle, the other dudes following close behind, rifles ready, and someone says something about a mud-hut, so I run towards it, scanning all the openings and whatnot as I pass by, looking for a door. I find it, and I turn the flashlight on my M4 on, rip the door open, and charge in, looking desperately for that Ali Baba motherfucker we're always after. It's pitch dark inside the mud hud and it smells like festered ass just like the rest of this country, and I'm still shuffling and scanning and panting and sweating, finger on the trigger, thumb on the safety. It went down like this:

"MOOOO!"

"OHFUCKSHITFUCK!!!!" as I come INSANELY close to shooting a goddamn COW in the face. That spotted bitch scared the living dogshit out of me.

"BAAAA!!"

"OH GODDAMMIT!"

We come back out and I see a couple guys on the street.

"Tal! TAL!!!" I started yelling at him. It means 'come here' or 'would you like herpes' or something. I turn my head back at the rest of the squad. "What was the description of the guy?"

Half a second goes by. "Fuck it, TAL!!!"

I'm aiming at this guy and he points to himself like "Who, me?" Iraqis do that shit. "You can't POSSIBLY be firing warning shots at ME. Heavens no, and that curfew doesn't apply to me. Whaaaat? No way, you aren't telling ME to come here, or open my door, no way."

"YES, YOU! TAL!!! TAAAAL, MOTHERFUCKER!!! COME HERE!!!"

One of the team leaders asks, "What, man?"

"[shouted description of the guy's shirt, matching the one we were told to look for just moments ago.]"

"Oh. Good eye," he says.

The guy is still standing there. I'm walking towards him, weapon up, yelling at him like I have balls of steel or something, despite the fact that it sure as hell doesn't SOUND like I do.

The other team ends up searching him, possibly to ensure that I didn't eat the guy or something, who knows. We end up not finding a damn thing, and it turns out we weren't in the right place, or the planets weren't aligned right, or some shit, and as a result, we had to move elsewhere, full knowing that whatever boogeyman we were supposed to look for was long gone.

More boring shit and an exploding Pepsi can later, we were back on the truck. Along our merry way, we came across a dead guy in the middle of the road. He'd been there for a while and no one does a damn thing about it. Dogs had chewed all the meat off of his arm. Whatever this guy had done in life, however his story started and developed, it ended with him face down on the pavement in Baghdad, bloated and blackened in parts from being in the sun, maggots crawling around, dogs snacking away. And no one does anything.

2 Comments:

  1. Jenni said...
    All joking aside, wow. It's crazy reading your entries, holding my breath, wondering what's going to come next, until I get to the end and I can't help but just think, holy shit...Good writing.
    I love you.
    Jen
    PS Chi Omega is waiting for you when you get home ;)
    Anonymous said...
    You need to find someone to animate this and you could be this war's Bill Mauldin. You're a great storyteller!

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