Knocking On Doors

It's still dark out and one eye sees dimly with whatever moonlight there is. No power in this neighborhood, and that's the norm. The other eye sees with the NODs, the night vision, in shades of green with skewed depth perception. Nearly a dozen of you walking down the streets. Heel-toe, heel-toe. Quietly as possible. Don't kick rocks or trash. Speak in rare hushed whispers and hand signals.

The gate is locked. This isn't your standard American style gate on a flimsy chain link fence. The walls are five to six feet high and the gate is cheap metal, but it's still solid. There is no reaching through, and this one is locked. Breaching it would make way too much noise.

"Psst! Suspect! Up and over!"

I hand my M4 to a buddy and step on the plate on someone else's back as they get down on their hands and knees and hoist myself over, silently as possible. Honestly, we should just start packing ladders. Sometimes I land on pottery and plants. Other times soft ground. My knee pad scrapes the wall and I wince in a rush of Awww Shit. I grab my M4 from whoever is holding it over the side and scan real quickly as I shuffle to the gate and open it from the inside.

Can't imagine what it must be like for the people inside.

I peek through an opening of the curtains in the window to the living room. No furniture, just a couple blankets and mats laid out. Couple people sleeping on the floor. How did they not hear us? Every noise we make seems apocalyptically loud to me.

We've got the two front sides of the house surrounded, a Joe covering every corner, both doors. One tries to knock quietly, a physical oxymoron, to get the attention of the occupants while not announcing our presence to the neighborhood. Someone else starts tapping on glass.

Nothing, no movement. After a few more attempts, it's decided that we're wasting time and are staying in one place too long. We break in. Sometimes it's the shatter of glass, other times it's a door being kicked off of it's hinges, splintering the wood and scaring the hell out of everyone inside.

If that doesn't do it, cyborg-looking American death-dealing soldiers from some future era called The New Millenium charging in with obscenely bright spotlights mounted on their rifles rushing through the house, clearing it room by room, well that'll do it.

Just imagine being woken in the middle of the night to that. I laugh and shake my head when I think about it. We wouldn't stand for that.

They hand their AK over and make us tea.


  1. Anonymous said...
    "Cyborg looking"
    We are the Borg. "Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated!"
    Anonymous said...
    Ladders are actually not a bad idea. When we were training at Ft. Bliss before going over, we had to raid this fake village surrounded by chain link fence. Of course we couldn't really breech the fence since that would be destructive to the training grounds, so we went to a local hardware store and picked up several aluminum ladders and distributed them through the unit. We used LMTV's to drive up next to the fence (LMTV's are really tall), used the aluminum ladders as a bridge over the fence, and slid down on the inside with all our gear. The OC's didn't know which side we breeched on and it worked very well in the unfair and unrealistic training scenarios they typically ran us through. Of course we couldn't take them with us overseas when the time came. What a shame. Of course in the rural area's there weren't any fences to breech anyway, just sewage to walk through, so it didn't matter. Might have been good in the urban setting though.
    Anonymous said...
    Be careful...and hopefully in the future there won't be borg warriers, and no war ever to fight.
    I wonder if, once awakened and aware, those folks at home sleeping may have been glad to see it was Americans soldiers, and not insurgents?
    What kind of tea? Hmm, tea and AK's in the dark of night with soldiers; was English spoken? Once again..thanks for a greatly descriptive moment in time!
    4/2 mom
    Anonymous said...
    I couldn't tell which was better- reading the blog with the sound off in total silence & hearing every step you took, or turning on the really cool choice of music & picturing you as Clint Eastwood w/ a cigar in his mouth. You HAVE to write a book...
    Uriah said...
    Can you imagine how bad it must have been before, for this kind of life to be acceptable to them? That's some of the stuff I don't like to think about.
    Jenni said...
    I'm trying to visualize you drinking tea, period. I can't...let alone with you in all your gear, with your Army buddies...interesting picture.

    What if you foresaw this moment in time before you ever even thought of joining the Army; of drinking tea in the middle of the night with these Iraqi people whose house you've just crashed? Pretty trippy.

    Also, if they offered tea, they must not have been too upset with you...

    Anyway, I'm procrastinating on packing...I've enlisted Cory to help us, mwah ha ha. I love you.

    wakingdaydreams said...
    Dude, you are an amazing writer...

    It makes me glad to live in a country where soldiers aren't breaking down my door in the middle of the night, and sad that there are people who don't have that comfort.

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