Sunday, 29 April 2012

Encounters of the Military kind - 2

My second military encounter was after arriving home. I'd slept on the bumpy road trail, and looked bleary eyed at the glittering silhouettes. Arriving at home, I'd found everyone was already at the compound. So many family members engulfed the car. Their shoulders and arms entangling everyone. After the tears, laughter and disbelief, everyone started to slip away.
Despite the dwindling numbers, there was still enough people to carry on a conversation into the depth of the night. Due to my napping on the way, I couldn't sleep, so in the early hours, I did what I had always done. I silently sneaked to the roof.

On the sombre ascent to the roof, I felt an overwhelming feeling of relaxation. Each step I climbed bringing me to my place in the world.
I trod around silently, aware below me everyone had fallen into a blissful sleep. As i approached the very edge, I happily looked on. Not down, but up. Up across the skies, and the houses and the quiet hum of the city. I smiled as I felt a soft breeze swirling around me.
I don't remember how long I spent at the edge, smiling into the distance, but I know it was long enough to witness the dark shatter into the colors of fire, as the sun rose.
I also remember what made my smile falter. It was a thunderous sound. The crackling and sound of heavy machinery was foreign to me at the time. And with such a noise greeting you in the silence, I naturally panicked. I looked left and right, up and down, all the while, the noise becoming overbearingly louder.

It churned by, the colors grim. The very shape of it uncomfortable. A lone soldier stood, pointing the gun first left, then right. His eyes mindlessly looking forward. My eyes followed it with intrigue. Then he spotted me. He turned to look at me, face to face.I heard a few quiet squeaks, until the gun was pointing at an unnatural slant. I stared back at the hidden expression, unable to determine what it was. I looked down at them for a few more seconds, then tore my eyes upwards. I wanted to see the sun.

 I slept uneasily. Guns and cold anger biting into my dreams. I hadn't noticed, but that small instance had made me nervous. I was nervous that they would take my home away. I was nervous that they would kill. I was nervous that they would destroy. Iraq wasn't my Iraq anymore, they had claimed it with their technology and booming accents.
But, as children often are, I was optimistic. Or, at least I pretended to be.
To be entrusted with power is one thing. But to be entrusted with human life, is a grace of the highest kind. I would soon learn however, that iraqi life had no discernible value amongst the many had claimed they were their rescuers or their leaders. 

1 comment:

Mezraab said...

so vivid and visual, terribly powerful, painfully benumbing...made me go back to my childhood, retrace my teens and ill now, i find my life awash with such dreadful scenarios...amazing transcendence, persecution is looks same, ugly, beyond physical & occasional borders...you have portrayed the same immaculately...kudos..!