Hearts and Minds?

Wake up, throw your boots on, the same old deja vu hamster wheel that you've become accustomed to. You and your fellow statistics jump into your newfangled vehicle and ride off to save the day or some other bullshit romantic notion like that.

Same sun, same streets, same scenery, same color on every building, same flat rooftops, same palm trees, same three legged mutt dogs, same mountains of trash, same sweat stinging your eyes, same equipment killing your back, same shit different toilet.

I found a few things today, all of pretty much NO consequence. Uh oh, a couple AK magazines (clips for you smart people who didn't enlist), big deal there. And oh me oh my, there is a HANDGUN in this house with a few extra bullets. This'll turn the tide of this cute little conflict slash clusterfuck.

The Sunnis claim that the Shiites attack them, and the Sunnis just fight back. Guess what the Shia say? The same goddamn thing, and no one really knows what the hell is really going on, but dammit let's jump onto that bandwagon and kill somebody and then drink chai to celebrate in our shitty house with no running water or electricity, because we're too fucking stupid to get it through our dipshit heads that if we just mellow out, we can have ALL OF THOSE WONDERFUL AMERICAN COMFORTS!!!

But nah, let's not do that. Let's ensure that this place remains one huge, festering open sore. This place is the rectum of the world, perpetually shitting and excreting waste of the worst kind, and the worst part about it is the POTENTIAL all around here. But who am I to judge?

The people tell us a million different stories about the neighborhood. The IPs are good! The IPs are BAD! The neighborhood is good! Sunnis! Shia! Blah blah lies lies bullshit go away America, we know you won't kill us for no reason, so piss off. I stop trying to follow the horseshit and I give my watch to some little boy standing next to his father. He digs it all right.

Later on, I go to give another little kid a high five. He punks me, similar to that last time. This kid is MAYBE three feet tall, and his teeth are black. In this case, I am not so offended. I go into the house where some investigative bullshit is going on. Some dude is bandaged up, wounded from the firefight from a week ago (the one that had me itching to burn off rounds). More details withheld, this cat was dirty.

When the other team had first come in, the older woman who answered the door said that it was just her and her daughters in the house. When asked for the household weapon, she went and got it, and one of our guys spotted this dude and a pal o' his chilling in the bedroom. No dice, Chuck, come on out.

Her worry steadily increases as the whole American Intervention or whatever process unfolds. I take a moment to rest and drink water, and it hadn't been very long at all when I look up to hear, "Whoa, hey, hey! I think she's having a stroke!!!"

Her daughters are freaking out and they lay her down on the couch and get her a blanket, and her eyes look kind of glazed and not all there, and the left side of her face is completely slack. Her mouth is jerked out and downward in this weird half frown, and her daughters are becoming more and more hysterical.

They want the Americans to help.

The woman is terrified for her son, who's a grown man, bandaged up and in deep shit. The daughters are told repeatedly to call an ambulance or drive her to a hospital.

EVERY fucking time a situation like this happens, its like a minor trainwreck, with all kinds of confusion and tears and worry. And you've got some sort of guilt and this sick feeling in your stomach and that burning desire inside you to know what the hell is going on and why you're here, even though you know why. And that's when you brush that selfish part of yourself away for just a moment and return your eyes to a woman lying on the couch, suffering permanent irreparable damage, her kin sobbing around her and trying to tend to her. They rub her legs and her face, hard, like they're trying to make the blood flow.

Something about her arm? Is she going to have a heart attack? Is this woman going to die in front of us?

I look at the son, and think, "HE did this."

And then I look at us and finish the thought. "We did this."


  1. Anonymous said...
    Can we narrow that "we" way down to "they", meaning those few in power who will not let this stop.
    4/2 mom
    Jessie said...
    So, I'm just a party-crasher, thanks. to..milblogging, maybe. *ponders* I think. We'll just keep that idea, even if it's not correct because I really don't remember.

    However, the same three-legged dog? Nah, there's four of 'em running around. Each bites the other's leg off, every couple months. You know for the variety of life. ;)

    Oh, sorry. I used all my other clever comments up when I saw my mom earlier.
    Anonymous said...
    She would have had the stroke whether you were there or not. It was NOT YOUR FAULT... or her son's, or "our" fault. It was those damned clogged arteries. We should all eat more veggies. ;P
    Anonymous said...
    YOU did not cause this. HE did not cause this. What you witnessed was a woman worrying about her family. She may have started worrying about her son when he came home bleeding; maybe she started worrying long before. What you witnessed is the path of life we all chose to take. She, herself chose to hide her son, as I would chose to hide mine. What her body will not be able to protect, her spirit and her soul will. You cannot feel responsible. Rest in peace, woman. You are everywhere; Protect our sons.

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