22 December 2005

a letter home

These always start something like this:

Hey guys,

How goes? Hope you guys are holding up well and making the best of it, being the holidays and all, is what people are saying that it is. Some sort of holiday. You know it's dead for me. All of it. The army killed it. Did it to death. Search and destroyed it and closed and killed it and moved to contacted it and raided it and assaulted it and extra-dutied it and rostered it to smithereens. It's just time slippage now. More sloppy X-es on Suzies hot ass (Suzie's my December vixen) marking time. Let's just leave it at that.

Hey! great stuff on Bud's new job. HotDAMNED that's some good shit Bud. I'm laughing my ass off thinking last time you mentioned you were willing to stuff grocery bags just to get out of the house. And now you're actually back in an office and directing legions of grovelling underlings. SWEET. Man alive, I can't fathom it though, honestly I can't. I mean the concept of sitting at home and feeling a compelling urge to get back out into the world. My sole ambition is to float away on an ocean of Jack and slither up to the occasional half-naked chick and if the world left me behind that would be just fine by me. Not much of an ambition, I know. Remember when all I could babble about was archaeology? I've seen these thousands-of-years-old ruins and didn't even have the ambition to capture the moment or explore or nothing. None of it. I'm consumed with one thing, one thing alone. Make it to tomorrow. Claw my way to the next day. A day at a time. As long as there's tomorrow I'm doin' okay. I saw the ruins and realized we haven't learned much from any of it, history that is, if we're standing here again bristling with weapons and raging 500 pounder laser-guided goodwill. What's the point of digging it up? No one wants to listen. No one wants to learn. We don't WANT to evolve. We're reading the riot act to goddamned 13th century goatherders. Like THEY give two shits what we have to say. Like WE know what we're talking about. Bwaaaaaaaaahahahahahaha... These Civil Affairs clowns kill me every time. Twaddle about progress and nation-goddamned-building and all the hot love they feel from the Raqis. I suggested to one of these dorks that he go out by his lonesome in shorts and flipflops with a big ol' white hat on and a teeshirt with a smiley-face and a shovel and a tool belt and go help the natives and see how long the hot love illusion held up without his li'l backup crew of gun monkeys and Abrams and Bradleys and .50 cals and close air support at beck-and-call. Yeah right. I'm so sick of all this pointless shit it's not even what it never was anymore.

Wow... see how that goes? Hahahahahaha... that was supposed to be a reminiscence on missing archaeology. Boy oh boy oh boy. I try a little ditty on reminiscing on something I used to love and the milk turns sour before I've even finished pouring it. Holy SHIT there's something wrong with me...

I don't know about the leave thing. I heard from some of the guys about back home and how it's great to be home and all but getting back on the plane was the hardest thing they've ever had to do and the time flew by so fast it didn't hardly seem to matter anyhow and I'm not so sure I could do it myself, get back on that plane I mean. If I did, I'd do it for the guys, because they're stuck in the shit and I don't think I could live with myself running off to Canada or Amsterdam or Rome. And then pile the stop-loss bullshit realizatin on top of all of THAT... quite a cocktail, lemme tell ya.

They said it was unreal, going out and like, the whole country is just rolling along, coasting along, and like, no one even seems to know there's a war on. A bud told me he was flipping through channels and there are entire days when there's not a word about the war. NOT. ONE. FUCKING. WORD. I don't know who to get more pissed off at... honestly. The sonsabitches who got us into this mess... the psycho asshole nutjobs stalking around out here, or the legions of fatass shoppers who keep giving the thumbs-up to this insanity. I get so pissed off I feel my head's gonna explode... more shit I gotta stop thinking about.

I miss you guys so much and I want nothing more than to be with you, but to be brutally honest, I just don't think I can handle it. I think I wanna try some place as alien and foreign and as far away from the war, and the warloving holiday shoppers and their fat complacent asses as humanly possible. It's not just that, it's the whole thing. The whole spiel. I'd feel awkward pretending 'to be home,' if you know what I mean, while my mind is still stuck over here. When I leave I want to leave it, this, behind me once and for all and be done with it. And I know you want me home and you'd say just to have me home would be enough but I know me and my mouth would sour it and I just don't have it in me to turn it off right now and pretend this stuff isn't bothering me tremendously so I think avoidance in this case is perhaps the better course. On a lighter note, I'm setting up this pool through a middleman, getting him to place wagers with all the lifers that I'll ditch this bitch first chance I get and run for the hills. Take some money offa the lifers and their bullshit and what they think they know about me... and turn a profit doing it. To swell the pool I'm gonna plant email stories about being somewhere implausible, Chile maybe, or New Zealand, somewhere like that.

I hope you understand. Give my very best to everyone and thank them all for their kind words and support and for all the neat stuff and even thinking about us at all. Considering the millions who don't give a shit, it means so much to know that at least we're in your thoughts. You're in ours, more than you know.


Your regretfully abrasive son,


And end up getting cut down to this:


Hey guys,

How goes? Hope you guys are holding up well and making the best of it, being the holidays and all.

Hey! great stuff on Bud's new job. HotDAMNED that's some good shit Bud. I'm laughing my ass off thinking last time you mentioned you were willing to stuff grocery bags just to get out of the house. And now you're actually back in an office and directing legions of grovelling underlings. SWEET.

I miss you guys so much and I want nothing more than to be with you, but I think I wanna try some place as alien and foreign and as far away from the war as humanly possible. I'd feel awkward pretending 'to be home,' if you know what I mean, while my mind is still stuck over here. When I leave I want to leave it, this, behind me once and for all and be done with it. I hope you understand.

Give my very best to everyone and thank them all for their kind words and support and for all the neat stuff and even thinking about us at all. Considering the millions who don't give a shit, it means so much to know that at least we're in your thoughts. You're in ours, more than you know.


Your loving son,

8 Comments:

Anonymous Janie said...

Many of my Soldiers agree that they do not want to come home for the 2 wks. SO - They have met family in Germany and Italy. They have gone places by themselves and with fellow Troops. They have gone to the Virgin Islands.. A couple just stayed (Middle East)... and got passes to Qatar a few times and then their leave time was not deducted so they had more time off when they deployed home. I think its important to get yourself OUT of there for a while "Somewhere." If it was me.. I wouldn't be coming home either. Since leave started - My views have not changed on that. I would just want to get the time done.


I care... with words, deeds, and treasure. But, None of what I can offer is going to help the darkness created by stop-loss.

Continue to make it to tomarrow.

23 December, 2005 01:44  
Blogger TBone said...

Janie's right. Taking the time to get the fuck away for a couple of weeks is key. Recharge your batteries, drink like a fish, lay around and do nothing. Go to Germany and take the train to Prague or Amsterdam.

This whole thing is a tragic comedy unravelling before your eyes. Treat it as such. Use your experiences and feelings to your advantage. Keep writing. Keep dreaming of the time beyond the storm where you will thrive. That time will come. Stay safe and mark time.

My mind still hurts sometimes dude. I try to push it aside and ignore it...but sometimes it takes me. No one with a heart will be the same after all this shit. It changes all of us in some way. Some parts good, some parts bad. I want to believe it gave me a necessary look into my soul. I would never have glimpsed it otherwise. Perhaps it could be the same for you.

Take care bro and if your still in the shit, keep your head down.

Cheers,
TBone

23 December, 2005 05:06  
Blogger charlie said...

A genuine, heartfelt wish for a happy and peaceful Christmas for you and everybody doing those crazy things wherever and whoever, AST.
Charlie

23 December, 2005 06:30  
Blogger The Un-Apologetic Atheist said...

You know, AST, I was just complaining to someone last night about a ten-hour days, week-long field op a few weeks ago in which we had to crawl around in a near-freezing river in wetsuits, doing my environmental protection work here in Kansas... but I get to go hang out with friends this holiday and feel normal, whatever that is.

Yet you may never feel normal again. Thanks for putting my own pathetically-weak bitch-list in perspective for me, man. Keep your head down and keep your shit wired tight. I definitely want to buy you that beer. Or whiskey, as the case may be.

23 December, 2005 06:44  
Blogger Puma said...

"They said it was unreal, going out and like, the whole country is just rolling along, coasting along, and like, no one even seems to know there's a war on. A bud told me he was flipping through channels and there are entire days when there's not a word about the war. NOT. ONE. FUCKING. WORD. I don't know who to get more pissed off at... honestly. The sonsabitches who got us into this mess... the psycho asshole nutjobs stalking around out here, or the legions of fatass shoppers who keep giving the thumbs-up to this insanity."

You nailed it. That is exactly what is going on, and you should be pissed, at all of it.

23 December, 2005 12:05  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great words, AST. Listen, if you get to New Zealand, you'll never leave. A great choice to ease the weary mind.

Many of us care, but have no 'voice' (yet) in your situation. We ALL want you to get the f*@k out of there ASAP.

Happy Holidays, stay safe, keep writing.
Nancy

23 December, 2005 13:52  
Blogger One Veteran said...

There are voices of sanity in this insane world.

If we all speak up loud enough, shit will get changed.

Maybe that's just the last lingering bit of the idealist in me talking, but I have to believe it.

Stop lossed the entire time I was in Iraq-
Brian

23 December, 2005 14:22  
Blogger Sara said...

I know what you mean about the deployment mindset. It's some tough shit to change only to have it changed back again. I'm with the other commenters: New Zealand, anywhere in Europe, fucking Jamaica... some shit that'll get you out of Iraq but doesn't require you to be all that normal. Plus there should be a lot of booze around.

Here's hopin those overpaid motherfuckers at KBR cook ya up something yummy this weekend!

24 December, 2005 12:38  

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