December 20, 2006
Name: SGT Brandon White
Posting date: 12/19/06
Stationed in: Afghanistan
Hometown: Diamond, Ohio
Milblog url: http://www.gwot.us
The boredom is irreversibly maddening in this place, where keeping your mind occupied is the name of the game. And I am losing, miserably. It's like getting to level three in Super Mario and never quite making the leap over that gigantic pit of nothingness. I can see King Koopa off in the distance there, irking me on with his fiery nostrils, but alas I am unable to attack him. That is a mission for the ANA. I can only mentor.
I wish I could say we were in our seventh-inning stretch, but I can't, not yet. It is only month six. I sit out on the patio of our building watching a bird pick at the lone Christmas decoration we have emplaced, a piece of red garland perhaps three feet in length which bedecks our small camp's tree. Not a Christmas tree mind you, just a tree. How the hell does it live with the lack of water in this place? Man, I wish a mortar would land and take it out. Perhaps that would cure the damn boredom.
I wonder how my wife is doing. Are the bills being paid? I hate paying bills. I'm glad I don't have to pay bills right now. I know, writing will keep my mind sharp. But what to write about? I saw a local contractor washing his feet with the run-off from a running washing machine yesterday. He was using the hose that sprouted from the rear of the machine, hosing off his sandals as well. Now there's a story. How do these people wear sandals year-round? Wow it's cold out here.
I once again step to the edge of that pit, I lean out ever so slightly and try to make sense of the black nothingness below. All at once the old familiar images begin flashing in rapid succession in my mind, like a warm hand on my shoulder encouraging me on into insanity. I see a fly-covered corpse lying in a sewage-infested culvert in An Najaf, black from the number of flies. I see an orange and white taxi with holes the size of tennis balls lacing its exterior. Inside, blood and bits of skin are splattered everywhere.
No, I can't. I won't go there again. I look across the pit. The princess is standing there. She waves a white hanky at me. I must get to her. I must leap over this pit, save the princess and collect my coins.