soldier's somnium

A blog of my dreams and nightmares. Im in one of those cities in Iraq and thought I'd give this concept a shot.I'll post some randomness from time to time that only express my thoughts of the day and no one elses. Some of these will be bizarre, but isn't this what a dream is? its the kind of situation we're in.....wouldn't call this much of a dream, though.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

mopp dream

-We're in the tent, sitting in despair on our cots. its the end of the day and we know something is going to happen soon. im dipping socks in warm soapy water, choking the socks and tossing them to the men and women on my team.this soapy sock serves as a filter for breathing if we get hit by chemical munitions. my team...they dont look military, more like scientest....i guess the labcoats some of them arewearing give it away... some of the women and men are older. we work for the military in this episode.

-we spent the day examining some newly discovered kind of pathogen thats supposedly ancient. we're testing it on a certain kind of rock, that when combined triggers a chemical reaction that scares us. people were recently killed in seconds by our tests. they go into convulsiions and choke to death.

-we're back at a small building that used to be an office for iraqis who worked with us. they spied on us. they're dead. it's abandoned now.

-other guys from another platoon, i recognize them, they're setting up internet connections in it,using it as a place for recreation. one of the guys is looking desheviled in the middle of a low lit room, lounging in a blood-leather lazy boy. he's looking at a scuplture he made out of sand, godzilla and g.i. joes. the little soldiers are being devoured by the sand and monster. the lights in the room dim.

-another soldier is in a closet talking to his girlfriend via laptop.

- my team enters another dusty room. there are many rooms in this shack that only looks large enough for one of these rooms when you look at it from the outside.

- the team studies foriegn things in this room. whatever these are, they're more advanced than anything we can produce. the objects are ancient and covered in dried blood.

- i'm walking back into camp to talk to some people. i push through a crazy looking gate. something you'd see on a castle's rectangular....three layers or reinforced steel....i push it easily into the wall and walk into camp. i wake up.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

soldier sweeps week

I dont know where the rest of this went. I woke up with the middle in mind while the rest of it kinda crunched into obscurity.

- in the middle of this...a squad of us dismounted, searching a street in BDU's (the green shit), instead of our DCU's (the brown shit). the urban sprawl before the group looks more like a complex house of cards than anything convincingly real.

everything except for the soldiers patrolling appears as it would through nod's (night vision) . They look more 2-d..there's a static charge around them. they look worried and tired. they walk up and hit people.

a floating T.V. screen hovers by the dismounts. ted koppel animates something grim from it while calling them heroes. They dont feel like heroes. they're looking for a way out. they try running away from the visage of the ghost screen.

a flood of tiny hands crawl like spiders behind them, chasing and grabbing some of them-

the rest is fuzzy but it had somethig to do with quality entertainment and the highest ratings yet for a reality tv show called freedom!-freedom!.

Monday, February 21, 2005

-goodbye gonzo-

..raman noodle days..

The red fist flaps manically on a poster and I ask about it...and the knife dripping from its wrist...and the room is shaking...WTF!!?

I'm 19 and tripping in the d's with Rob and Di. He loves you. He's obsessed with your work we're talking fast, heads bobbing between Unkle and Sonic Youth.
'Yeah!!...yeah!' he's playing the beat on his thighs-head bouncing-licking lips-crazed grin-eyes buldging and alert-jumps on his bed-digging through the bookshelf overhead-pitches Hell's Angels at me and misses with a laugh....'Give it a read!! you'll like!'. The yellow letters of hell tremble off the cover.I try to ignore this. his eyes rattle a little as he chugs another South Paw. everything raddles a little. Di's giggling indian style on the floor. she never talked when she was high, just laughed and listened as the room spun.

I read about your paranoid partying over the next few days and was hooked.cant say i loved gonzo on the campaign trail as much, but i was young. maybe i'll give it another shot. your gun toting, inebriated-bare knuckle games inspired rob's speed freak frame to traipse around in motorcycle cop shades and throw knives at inanimate objects when he drank.....or was bored. nickle sized slits peppered his walls, chair, desk, bed.... ahhh, the memories.....

He gave me the skinny on your gonzo writing and imitated your style with a certain amount of religious fervor all his own while writing for our paper. needles to say, he was banned because of this. but he was our favorite to read. you were his favorite. somewhere today, Rob is clad in black or blue with blurry-bloodshot eyes,a worn copy of Fear and Loathing and a head chalked full of something wonderful.

thanks, you crazy bastard.



I'm running down a narrow arrow of a dirt road with an endless pine green field hemorrhaging from its sides to sky.

ping-pong paddles fixed in my clenched fists, slicing air with every breath. and over this hill, two brunette adonis twins twist in the road, boxing slow motion in black shorts. their almond eyes meditating on fixed targets of one another. pig skin gloves fly to muscles heaving as identical punches crash and cancel each others dust out. I run through this. gloves collide and recoil before and after me.

a new dark-locked man in black sprints past me on the other side of our road. his movement effortless and perfect as i try and catch up to him. unable to grasp his speed. my arms cutting harder, paddles catching wind, slowing me down, lifting me up. i fly with each swing away from this.

i'm in a house of pretentious design. fixtures are delicate from a hand crafted oak. two supple blonde girls relax soft and naked on a love seat. Our eyes meet with blank faces as they turn to kiss. With each lip sucked, they rise from a chest-red cushion. The more they kiss, the higher they rise. My arms lock to the sides as fist beat air. I rise into the white spackled cieling of buzz.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

G.I. party

Come on in to the white-trash, ranch style pad. we're at my friends house and a few people have arrived for the party. no music, no fun and we're in uniforms, standing uncomfortably in the living room. looks like his grandma decorated it. another solider stood quiet in a position of at ease, looking vaccant at a blank wall. he looks broken. we didnt even bother trying to talk to him, weirdo. thats when our friend joe walked in in a black jersey and black shorts. he's rearranging the blankets on the bloodstained couch. i tried to say hi to him but he didnt wanna talk, instead, just mummbled some hello with his back turned to us. its ok. im not offended, he's still in mourning over the loss of his best friend.

the mood wasnt 'happeing' in the living room, so we strolled into the counter covered kitchen and filled our punch glasses. the place looks like it hasnt been touched since the 70's.

I picked up a little conversation with a private. he wdidnt look a day over 17 and the little guy was sad too. what gives? this was supposed to be a freedumb party. thats when you, against my advice, asked him what was wrong. his freckled face broke into a nervous giggle and he told us he didnt know why he was still sad. 'about what?' i asked, and he mentioned this other guy we knew, how it was hard for him to accept the fact that his teammate was gone. his giggle turned into a laugh that turned into a sob with his eyes tearing up. poor guy, i thought. i dont know why he's still so emotional about it....i mean...this happened in september, he should be over it by now, or so i thought.

it was too quiet. thats when you tapped my shoulder and pointed to the window facing the backyard. mmaybe...15, 20? ...soldiers were meeting at a burn pit and throwing boxes in a fire. they look like care packages. weird? i dont know what that was all about.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

suicide bomber brains

his head is close enough to see grey hairs before it shatters into a fine spray of mist, meat and bones.

morticians are over the mess now, delicately reconstrunciting the bits and pieces. theyre mumbling 'hmmm' and 'ooh' with tweasers. his head is together again, like the glued shards of a vase but not all the pieces fit as well as they should.. we're looking at his side profile.... his olive skin is now sand paper red.

the morticians are satisfied with the results and present a detailed how-to video of the process. im watching the inside of the head phase with a cartoon ant walks up a latter in the head, wearing a construction hat and holding some blueprints. he whistles while he works in the red meat mess.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

new skin

I was back in the states today at a house i've never seen before, visitng friends i didnt recognize again. the mood of the environment was overwhelming....i'm home. im happy.....i had to go outside and enjoy the moment.

little flecks of grass are growimg through the cracks of this brick padio thingy im standing on. everything is so clean and quiet and calm. it can be quiet, but that doesnt mean its calm. a red car and a black jeep are parked on the side road under an old oak tree. the street is smooth, no pock marks from IED's or shit or trash. manicured lawns are simple and identicle in the neighboring yards. all this order is nice.

I'm taking deep, punching breaths ...the words -so good- are looping in the background. my sky is alive again, none of the stratus crap im so used to in messepotamia. its filled with cumulonimbus giants that protect us.

I notice my shirt's tan and tan and tan. my dcu's. im still wearing the fucking things and i try to take my top off and i cant. i try to tare my trousers off and its like they're glued to me. im so fucking pissed, i have to get out of these and into some regular clothes.i'm ripping and tugging and punching and screaming to no avail. that feeling of iron bars over me sinks in and im crushed. i collapse to the cold bricks, crying and beating them with my fists. i cant get away.

and now i wake up in iraq.

Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable. -JFK

I'm in this Iraqi neighborhood again, in my full battle rattle, on the front porch of someones house. This porch kinda reminds me of the one i had growig paint, ionic beams, no side rails, though. i'm relaxed with my M-16 loose in my hand and aiming at the ground. the suns out, the air is cool, the street in front of me looks normal, trash isnt all over the place.The yard looks sexy. I havent seen grass trhis green in Iraq. i'm in a good mood. the people I see walking on an adjacent sidewalk look pretty content too.

This skinny little iraqi guy walks by in a grey shirt and grey pants.....must be in his 50's and his face is topped off with a pair of wire framed spec's. He wont stop smiling at me. I wave and smile back. he waves...and keeps smiling. good for him- im thinking.

6 iraqi boys are riding one of those bikes tinkered to be handlebar-seat-handlebar-seat-handlebar-seat. its an ugly old, blue thing.....looks like the first bike i trained on. it was a purple girls bike from the 70's and the handle bars were up to my head. I got off it by crashing into peoples yards. i hated that thing. it made me cuss. ......the boys are little hip-hoppers. they're wearing blue XL b-ball jersey's and all have identical light blue hats with the bill cocked to the side. they have that cool look on their faces. i try to look cool too and throw then a peace sign. I'm making that 'serious but hip' expression. they give me the peace back. *respect*.

All sorts of women and men walk by this porch now and we're smiling and throwing peace signs back and forth. why cant Iraq be like this all the time?

the people clear and two little boys, probably 6 or 7 , show up in the yard and staare at me. I'm worried for some reason. one kid smiles and laughs and waves and im relieved, waving back, throwing that peace sign out there again. The other starts yelling at me and throwing rocks. he's a good aim , im getting hit with every throw i try to dodge or duck from. I jump off the porch in slow motion, shielding my face with my hand and getting hit in head and body armor. I catch the little bastard as he tries to run away and im yelling at him, kicking him in the ass, and telling him to stop throwing shit at me!

He's crying and telling me he's sorry. I'm shocked by his perfect enunciation of english and ask if he's american. he nods his head yes and i'm like, 'What the fuck are you doing here?! where the hell are your parents?!'. he keeps sobbing in his hands and now im feeling bad for scolding him. i look away from him for a second and notice the iraqi boy looking at this situation with a puzzled face.

I'm awake with a notepad and a pen next to me, writing this down. its hard to read my scribbles when i write this groggy.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

WTF am i doing here!!?

I'm in the passenger seat of a grey primered something with a friend i dont recognize. We have our weapons lounging and we're not in battle rattle. We're in boonie caps and DCU's and we're not worried about it. It's dusk and the empty streets are choking in trash. The shitheaps smolder on both sides of us as the colors are muted through the tint of my window. I dont think my M-16 is even loaded.

I'm dropped off in some poor iraqi neighborhood at someones house. I'm waiting comfortably in a side room with paint peeling from the walls. I'm sitting in a red-retro plastic chair with my legs crossed. I lean to my left to check out the commotion coming form the other room. Through the doorway, I see maybe 8 Iraqi children giggling around an empty table. Their legs are swinging from the chairs cause they're too short to reach the floor. Girls wearing bright colored dresses, this green one sticks out for some reason,and boys are in black and white dress clothes. I dont know why im here, but its casual for some reason .

A guy in his 30's, the Iraqi father, walks in to the dining room and his kids get excited. He smiles and tells them to quiet down, pats one of them on the head and hangs his black jacket on the back of a chair. This looks like a healthy family. I dont know where the mom is, if there is one. he's in a black and grey mechanics uniform and i can see some grease on his face from where I sit. he walks up to me with the same smile as i get up to shake hands. His black hair and mustache are well groomed. the vibe is good between us. I know this guy form somewhere. He looks familiar.

I look closer at his smile, his face, and eyes. i notice one of his pupils is blood red, his face is yellowish and bruised badly on the bridge of his nose. He's dead . But I'm calm to this realization. the feel of his hand is warm to the touch. Reality sets in as i scan the dark corners of the room. Im worried about whats moving behind the large red window drapes. the place is really dusty and the dust is illuminated the by light from the window. I worry about trusting him now. I worry that someone else is in the house, that they'll attck me form behind as he distracts me with his friendliness. the kids are gone now. He makes the same crazy smile as joan cusack in Arlington Road and then his expression, like hers, fades to something blank and grim.

It's night now and i'm by myself in a red room with little light, fidgeting on a leather sofa covered in blankets. I'm in the same house. Fuck! I have to get back to camp but im too scared to go outside. I dont want to fight the bad guys by myself without any battle rattle.I dont want to fight, period. I think about calling HQ, like some would back in the states who're too drunk to drive, and asking them to come pick me up. Maybe if i call my friend, he can pick me up in his grey primered something, but this isnt possible now. I think... maybe this other sgt can swing by and get me while he's on patrol, but i might be too far out of his way.

I shit panic and worry that I wont make it back alive if i try for camp, but i have to make it back. Why the fuck am i here!?! Why the fuck am i by myself!?! The house is empty and dark. The street outside is empty and dark but i see things moving in the darkness.