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- a while ago
The notion that mother had to take care of me was starting to get on my nerves. Nagging questions, such as "Who will wash your underwear? You know you will get a rash if they are not washed in the right soap!"These were the common place now. "There are younger people than me already at the front mother!" I mean, Christ is this the kind of crap that great Soldiers of the past had to deal with? I can just picture it now. "Alex, before you go off to conquer the world make sure you wash behind your ears, and wipe your butt, or Nappy you know your too short to be a general, maybe your should be a cobbler instead?" It no longer mattered though I was going to the front and there was nothing that the old lady could say about it.
- a while ago
Girls love a man in uniform, at least that is what I was always told by the surly, old vets at the Bitter Pickle dive bar in Lexington, and to a certain degree; it’s true. What is more certain though is that men in uniform love girls, and that is exactly the way I would describe all the degenerates in my regiment especially my buddy Epert. Most of the guys call him Pert for short, when I first met Pert in boot he was the first guy that actually took the time to look me in the eye and tell me what a pussy I was. And for those first few weeks he was right. I mean its not that I am the toughest guy in the outfit now, but I have definitely grown some balls since those first days. Pert, and I had a lot in common, both from the Midwest, both grew up on farms and both of us loved to tell raunchy jokes. But, to look at us physicallya person might think we were the two most different people in the world. My nickname is Ichabod if that tells you anything about either my height and lack of body
- a while ago
fat.Pert on the other hand is just about as the closest human equivalent to a boar hog that I have ever seen aside from the tusks protruding from his skull.. To hear him tell it he was always somewhat of a hooligan in his younger years. In fact he claimed he had been beaten up so many times that punches no longer affected him and I believed it too. It was not just punches either but also boards, bottles and even one time a copper kettle. His idols all seemed to be outlaws and or fighters, guys like Billy the Kid or Jack Dempsey. He was the kind of guy that would have a few stingers of scotch and then hit the bartender just to see if he would get kicked out of the joint. Aside from all that though Pert was the most loyal wingman on the good green Earth. More often than not Pert would step in to defend you even if you did not want him too and he was always willing to take a tongue lashing from an officer for the whole battalion when something went badly.
- a while ago
Other guys used that to their advantage at times and Pert knew it. I am not sure what made us so close? Maybe it was the fact that he is the main reason that I got laid so much or the fact that he saw me as a sort of puny little sheep that he needed to mold into a man. Either way the only way to describe Pert was that he was like that Greek Creature the Chimera, the combination of a lion, a snake and a goat.
- a while ago
But what Pert didn't know was that Rodney from C company was out to get him for sleeping with his girlfriend even though they've been on a break for a couple of years. Rodney seems like a hot head and I didn't know whether to help Pert and face the consequences of losing most of my teeth or just let Pert take the beating for me. Anyway, Rodney is still overseas and won't be back for another month so I guess I'll be fine for a while. Everyone loves Pert but I think that they're all hoping that Rodney comes back and serves him on a silver platter.
- a while ago
Anyway, I'm starting to get a bit restless and agitated being in here. Obviously, there's that whole saving the country and fighting for your people aspect that makes you feel like you're part of something important, but isn't there supposed to be a deeper philosophy coming at me from all the time that I've spent here? Being with kooks like Pert and spending every day worried that today might just be the last day I get to be alive... Dad always told me "your experiences are what makes you, you" but honestly I thought that by now I'd have learnt plenty of life lessons and found the desire to become more 'zen' with my life. Guess that was a long shot. Then again, I might have to shoot some guy in the face tomorrow and being 'zen' would've totally contradicted that.
- a while ago
I spent all night contemplating what is about to unfold. I have yet to decide weather i should kill for my country, or choose to abandon the war, and proceed to follow my desire to become more 'zen'. I hate the thought of having to take another mans life, and i wish i could just walk away from this hell and follow my spiritual path. I have dreams of visiting a monastery in Tibet, and getting taught there by the zen monks that live in the mountains. However this dream is not likely to become reality, because i am forced to fight for my country against my own will, there doesn't seem to be another way out except to survive the war, and face my fears. I do not think i have the strength to abandon pert, and all of my other friends. I am in a mental dilemma, i cannot decide weather to abandon Pert and follow my dream of becoming a zen monk, or staying here and having to do my duty's to my country.
- a while ago
There is nothing I can do about finding Zen in the middle of warfare.I have to focus on surviving the war instead of dreaming about something that is, considering the situation, completely unachievable.But surviving may be harder then it seems. The conditions we live in are extremely bad. More and more solders is getting sick every day. With all the bombing going on, hygiene is something we don’t think about. Most of the time we sleep in or clothes and sometimes we have to scrape of lice, with a blunt edge of a knife. Not to mention the constant sound of gunshots and bombes, which is driving people mad. We have been in this trench for a good month now and rats have started to appear. At the beginning it was just one or two here and there and now there is more rats than solders in the damn trench. During the night I get frequently awaken by them running over me. Sometimes they would even bite my wounds. And let me tell you being awaken by the pain of rat eating your wound is awful.
- a while ago
The little sleep I get is tormented with bloody visions of the destructive chaos that I witness while I'm awake. The line between reality and the dream-world has become so blurred that I can barely tell the difference. It feels as if even though my unconscious mind still can't wrap itself around the idea of death becoming routine. Every day is the same. We shoot at the opposite trench for a while until they come out to attack, many of us die but then they tire and we attack until we begin to lose numbers and retreat, the whole process starting again. It is slowly wearing me away; I feel as if one day I will simply disappear. I can't even remember when my life became a constant battle with giving up. The aching hollow in my chest yearns for all the friends I have lost yet I find a certain safety in it. Its as if it were a rope that is keeping me tied to my humanity, keeping me from losing myself in insanity...
- a while ago
My mind is going insane. Every minute in the trench is a hell. Gunshots everywhere,dead people everywhere and opposition keep bombing us. I can't take it anymore. I couldn't even get a nice and peaceful sleep. Yesterday, half of the troops were killed. Today, most of my friend lost their human organs. Legs and arms are missing, soldier can't barely stand up and fight. It's a nightmare for a young soldier like me. I, I..I just can't.. do this. After an hour of hell, I'm considering to set a journey to Tibet and become a zen monk. I know its almost impossible but becoming one with nature by learning zen is my dream. But several question pops up in my mind. Where is Tibet? How do I get there? Can I abandon my duty to serve the country for my own desire to be a zen monk? I think a journey to Tibet can't answer my curiosity to be a zen monk. I'll think again tomorrow and I hope everything is settle by the day after tomorrow.
- a while ago
It gets worse everyday. I can just feel it. The trench walls seem to be closing in tying to suffocate me. I've forgotten the smell of roses and fresh cut hay back home. All I can smell is thick smoke, rotten bodies everywhere and the stench of rotten bodies everywhere.Wherever I go I see splatters of blood, I cannot bear this anymore... The sky is dark grey, sunlight barely penetrates through the thickness of the smoke. Fortunately the rain clears it all up from time to time. But these trenches get flooded and the humidity and dampness of our small chamber makes it very uncomfortable for us. Every morning I wake up to the noise of bombs exploding and the screams of innocent people suffering from their injuries.All the time I see people I've made friends with leave me. Just 3 days ago my best friend Liery was shot in the leg and was sent to the Christian hospital on the hill nearby. This war seems never ending and I cannot imagine how much longer I will last here.
- a while ago
Im starting to think I should have listened to mother and signed up for a job in the medical center or even the kitchen. Out here in the battlefield, it gets cold and depressing watching as my once friends become distant memories of war. I hear stories from the Christian Hospital on the hill that many of our soldiers are not healing from the wounds. Our numbers grow lower with infantry and our trenches grow less crowded. That evening I was in one part sector of a trench with a couple of my mates I grew fond towards. We were quietly sitting there not knowing what our next actions would cause. Our general was sitting there which looked to have a serious face yet probably a clueless as we were. I miss the smell of bread in the morning and cold breeze gusting in the wind. How much longer will I survive, will any of us survive? Christ, what the hell are we achieving from doing this.
- a while ago
It's been a few weeks the score was in level. Our general came to us. He made a soundless sigh with a cigar in his mouth. He declared the whole squad will be using special types of grenades from now on, pointing at the small chest. In the chest, there were a bunch of rather light grenades, and masks. I knew what this was. A gas. A weapon that could break this long held stalemate. Funnily, I was happy. Something must have gotten into me. I know I've been in war, and in this trench of blood for quite some time now. The brain was telling me that this is wrong. But, my mind was happy. Now it's chemicals. This would kill hundreds more people, with even more severe pain. Why would I be happy? I'm starting to realize, the nature of humans. In this game of live or die, I can't help but kill others to keep myself alive. Is this the human instinct?
- a while ago
Despite knowing that we had new weapons that would kill the enemy slowly and painfully, I was looking forward to using them knowing that I will kill my enemy's with one throw of a grenade. When I picked up the grenade the general screamed at me. "PUT THAT DOWN BOY" I immediately dropped it back into the small area of chemicals. He said " You have no Idea how to use one of theses, I will be sure you have a punishment" The general walked around the trench with his cigar in his mouth I kept thinking to my self, please let it be death then I will not need to fight this war no more. The general stopped moving and said " I have the perfect punishment for you" He said with a large grin. " You shall lead the army out with your grenade in had and you shall be the first one to leave the trench and go into battle!" I was not sure what to say, to either thank him for the large opportunity or just be quite and deal with this punishment.
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