Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Desert

117. In the shade. That's Fahrenheit, for those of you just tuning in.

It's been murderously hot, and getting hotter. The sun casts its hard eye down on everything, and as I walk around post, I swear I can feel the plant life dying.

In heat like this, even your skin feels like a bulky sweater; a hot, oppressive thing you can't wait to pull off. And sometimes, you're just crazy enough to try.

Spent a few days in Tallil last week. Just as hot.

Nothing but hardpan out there. Nothing but sand and snakes and the shimmering horizon, with the afternoon sun attempting to claw your eyes out. My only companion the Ziggurat of Ur, looming just beyond The Wire. Forget my squadmates; forget all that hooah bullshit about "the Company." Me and the oldest civilized ruin left standing--together we understand something of loneliness.

I think the desert makes people crazy.

I think lack of water makes people crazy.

Growing up on the shores of Huron, how could I think any way else? This is the farthest I've been from coastline, and people are so busy killing each other that they can't decide who to kill next. People on both sides, vultures picking the bones clean, till they can't take it any more and start ripping each others' throats. Plucking for feathers and eyes and soft underbellies, gutting each other and shrieking out out of anger and starvation and a million other emotions born of suffering.

I miss my wife. I miss my friends. I miss having friends, peroid.

Instead, I'm left to count down the months again (seven, after the extension). I'm left trying to while away my days in this sun-cursed hell, while at home the world continues and the struggles of this place barely register a footnote.

I never want to see this place again.


Anonymous Cheryl Friend said...

You may not know it, but you have friends that visit you here everyday, waiting for another post.

God Bless and stay safe.

10:09 PM  
Anonymous Kenny said...

You are not alone.....I enjoy your posts and never miss tell it like it is and not some of the bull hooray crap that lots are writing about. Don't get me wrong here, I support what you are doing because that is your job........but sure as hell do not want MY son going back there ever again..{he is there now, the second time this war}..keep safe and keep posting what YOU want and what YOU feel about it all!

12:51 AM  
Blogger Marty said...

My son, trying to explain the heat and sand while in Baghdad, wrote:

"You can see the heat. The wind feels like that time you stood too close to the camp fire. To add insult to injury the sand decides to become buddies with the wind."

He spent 27 months in that hell hole on 2 tours. He was extended 3 months on his first tour for a total of 15 months. Then he was stop lossed and did another tour of duty for 12 months. He's been honorably discharged, but is IRR.

He'll never go back.

Here's some advice from an IRR soldier: When you receive your honorable discharge "disappear like a fart in the wind."

4:05 AM  
Blogger David M said...

Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 05/25/2007
A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention.

4:36 PM  
Blogger iamcoyote said...

I'm sorry, Milo, I didn't see these posts until today. I guess my browser doesn't update on its own sometimes.

I hate the heat, always have. At least with cold, you can add another layer, but once you're down to your skin, there's nowhere left to go.

2:15 AM  
Blogger Chris Rich said...

Just look at the odd correlation between desert cultures and the invention of angry sky god religions like some prickly heat hallucination.

2:52 PM  
Blogger cinnabari said...

I leave for one weekend and you post and post...

Got nothin' for ya, except the hollow electron assurance that you do have friends out here. And I wish to the gods I could ship you our weather, even a puff of it.

8:49 PM  

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