The Sandbox

GWOT hot wash, straight from the wire

Welcome to The Sandbox, a forum for service members who have served or are currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, returned vets, spouses and caregivers. The Sandbox's focus is not on policy and partisanship (go to our Blowback page for that), but on the unclassified details of deployment -- the everyday, the extraordinary, the wonderful, the messed-up, the absurd. All correspondence is read, and as much as possible is posted, lightly edited. If you know someone who is deployed who might have something to say, please tell them about us. To submit a post click here.

TRIPLE DIGITS |

May 23, 2008

TRIPLE DIGITS
Name: LT G
Posting date: 5/23/08
Stationed in: Iraq
Hometown: Reno, Nevada
Milblog: Kaboom: A Soldier's War Journal

As spring limps into summer, a new contender with an old face ascends to challenge the concept of war for peace for complete dominance of Iraq’s ever-malleable now. It reigns with small flares of absolute tyranny, doling out punishment to the masses and the elite equally in spells of burning subjugation. What this aspirant lacks in constant staying power, it makes up for in the promise of consistent rebirth every dawn, rising like a digital Jesus stuck on repeat.

I speak, of course, of the big ball of orange suck the Tibetan monks and icebergs commonly refer to as the sun. And yes, this will be a very elaborate, very obnoxious, and very imagery-laced, vocabulacious way to say that it is fucking hot now. Here’s to the wordgasm.

Baroque birdman badness, even. In blue bursts like banana-bombs, brimming beyond Baghdad burning.

(Here’s to writing for nobody but yourself !)

Down goes the ramp. In comes the light. Out goes the soldier.

97...98...99...

It starts with a dry mouth. Thirst. The body is more clever than the brain, no matter what the haters say. Speaking of which … Hater-Ade is far more prevalent than water and Rip-Its over here, with flavors ranging from that old vanilla staple “Bored Colonels Make Grown Men Cry” to the newest rage “Passionless PowerPoint Punch.” No liquid is going to help you though, when you realize the source of the thirst in question. There’s that big ball of orange suck again, climbing up the horizon like a stoned sloth lost in a tree.

Diggity.

Suddenly the personal tragedy becomes less of a bitch and more of the Bitch. You remember that your 140 pounds of raw American fury carries 70 additional pounds of raw American gear. The lightest glide becomes the heaviest step. Anu al-Verona’s shoebox diorama walls fall down, revealing a destitution that exists beyond e-journal entries made every two or three or oops I got lazy four days. Stay vigilant, you're here to kill. Remember? And then you feel the sweat -- and it’s not coolly bracing anymore. It’s the physical manifestation of everyone’s internal What the Fuck monologues. It might as well be another layer of skin, lacquered up underneath cloth. What the Fuck monologues? As in. What the Fuck. Over. As in. Pour and pour and pour.

Say again? You’re coming in broken and retarded.

100! 101...102...

Would you rather be refrigerated or air-conditioned? Be careful how you answer that. It’s a much weirder question than it appears to be at first glance.

I’m a desert child. I understand the arid, the dry, the barren beauty only the gila monsters and man-monsters appreciate. This is something else, though. Over-baked, like any Western Europe megalopolis, and baked over, like the little blue pills for America’s Greatest Generation. This place literally sizzles with a heat that links every living creature to a chain-gang slaving away in Loki’s very own boiler-room. This … this was the Holy Land? We're sure about that? I’m at the point where I truly believe the first Hawaiians and Caribbeans straight punked out the other founding members of humanity. Or they were really good at Go Fish.

Either or.

105...110...115...

The sun’s rays beat on. Maybe another sandstorm will happen today, you think. That’d be nice. Cool everything down with dust and clutter and maybe even a flying goat if we're lucky. Even if it provides cover for Ali Baba to plant another IED. I mean, whatever. There are ways to negate all that.

Don’t be giving the Good Idea Faerie any more Absinthe. She’s already got the bored Colonels addicted to the sauce. Which, you know, is alright with me. Not that they need my support with these matters.

Drink water, for the hydration nation.

116 ... 118... 119...

Ramp goes up. Lock-and-load. Black shades go on. The soldier moves forward.

How'd we skip 117? Crafty, that 117.

That damned stoned sloth. So pretentious. So demanding. So fleeting.

119...120...alright, that's enough. It can go higher, just don't tell me about it. I don't want to know if the thermometer is playing me. No mas, mistah.

Diggity.

So yeah. It’s fucking hot.

Comments

Jeez, and to think I was bitching because it hit 95 in San Francisco last Friday! Guess it's all relative, right?
What else to say except "stay cool, man".

~Wow.....I live in Indidana and I can't even imagine what it is like. Just wanted to write and say Thank you for all you are doin' along with the other men and women who are over there. You are always in my prayers every night. I do not see how you do it but you are very strong along with your fellow comrades....keep safe!!!!!! Arielle~

In a few brief paragraphs you've given me a greater sense of what it's like to be over there than a thousand news reports or press releases or PBS specials.

People ARE listening.
Come home safe.

Thanks for the post. Its a neat combination of jargon and imagination. Pity the poor butterbar who comes within your reach.

Agree with prior comments.

One can never read too much. Just remember to have someone watch your back when you pick up a book.

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