Beg Me a River

Couldn't just kick down the door.  Utilized C-4, blew the bitch open.  Crying kids and scared shitless mom.  Where's your son/nephew/cousin/uncle/father/husband.... humma humma.... where is he?  We know you're hiding him.  Kids crying, shook up by the C-4 explosion.  Where is he?  He had two weeks to get out.  If he stayed, he stayed to fight us.  Where is he?  I know he stayed cause we had to blow open the door to get in.  You're protecting him.  Where is he?  Tell her - to translator- tell her I know she's lying when she says she doesn't know.  Tell her I know she's playing stupid.  

   This 'she' gets on her knees, hugs my legs.

    Translator:. Please, we hide nothing....there is no one else here....we hide nothing...

     Tell her to get up...let go and get up....tell us where he is cause we'll find him anyway.  If I have to find him without her I'll have this house blown up.... tell her...if she tells us where he is she can keep her house.

     Kids crying.

     Tell her to let go and get up.

     Found him.  

     Wounded in an ally.

     Put two in his chest, one in his head.

     Not wounded anymore.


     Give us credit.

     We didn't blow up the house.


El tee: Was he wounded?


Was he a combatant?

My understanding is that any military aged male in the city is a combatant, sir 

Was he fleeing?

No, sir, on the ground, leaning against a wall.

He was killed?

Roger that, sir.

Carry on, sergeant.

Thank you, sir.



.After, a brigadier general toured the war zone.  A graduate of the Army War College, gave speeches and conducted seminars and all that fancy shit.  All he had to say was, "Holy shit."


Sir, there's incoming from that mosque.

     Return incoming. on a mosque....I thought -

     Those fuckers keep it up put a T.O.W. through the front door.

     Yes, sir.

    ....wan...tup...threep...fower....fife...six... missile through the front door of the mosque.  No more incoming.




Sergeant W_____, do you understand that mosques are sanctuaries?

     Yes, sir.    

     And you ordered a missile to be fired through its front door?

     Yes, sir.

     .....carry on, sergeant.

     Much obliged, sir .


Males and females of the household are separated, you find out who's related to who and the nature of their relationship, so, you find out one male is the husband of one of the females and you tell him to tell you where the cache is or you'll remove his wife's hajib or detain his daughter or you tell a brother you will have his sister held, literally held, by one of your soldiers, have him put his arms around her: lots of times you didn't have to threaten violence against the males, just shame against the females.  Accomplish your mission without firing your weapon.


Visiting parents before leaving for my third tour:

     Are you all right to go back yet again?

     Yes, sir.

     Make sure you call your mama as often as you can.

     Yes, sir.

     We shake hands.

     Don't forget to kiss her goodbye before you leave.

     Yes, sir.

     He squeezes my shoulder.

     I go inside to kiss mama goodbye.























'the horror, the horror'

(Kurtz in Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad)

The movie Apocalypse Now modernizes the book.

You are alive, try your best to stay well.

All the best, Ray

I've read the book and seen the movie.  Conrad's best are Lord Jim and Nostromo.  Yeah, I'm alive. Thanks, Rachel.  Keep rockin'-n-rollin'.

You have some terrible memories living in your head. I don't know how you could make them sleep, so you can sleep. I don't know how well paid your job is, but if there are jobs where you live helping people, stuff like fixing things or driving them, had you thought of something like that? It seems to me you have so much compassion, and ability but you have none for yourself because things you made yourself do to be a good soldier have made you unable to feel peace, now. If, after you have sorted all your lizards and snakes and rabbit etc you could look back at a day where you know you've made a human's life better, maybe slowly these memories would fill up your mind, fill up the desert inside? 

The limmited experience I have, it was much much better working in a school to help a struggling child learn how to read a difficult word or know how to do a sum, seeing their shoulders relax, almost seeming to physically grow with confidence, than working in a supermarket and getting a letter from head office saying I had sold the most flowers of any store in the chain

If it's possible at all for you, please try to find a job where your qualities are valued!


Lay down, DH, sleep comfy in your bed.


Brutal and so well written, of course. Do I search for you in the blog section these days, Jack?! Paul


How's it going, Paul?  Yeah, since my laptop took a shit on me and I don't have internet I'm gonna post brief pieces until I decide if I want to get another laptop and internet.  Have a good one and appreciate the comment.