Baghdad Stories and Tips

Bright stars at night . . .

They say the stars at night are big and bright in Texas, but the Lone Star state ain't got nothing in the terrain around the Sinjar mountains of northern Iraq. I lay on the floor of the crevasse, nestled with my flak jacket as a pillow, my feet up on my helmet. I could feel the indentation of where the bullet struck the front panel, which left me with a bitch ass bruise, but not a high velocity armor piercing round bouncing through me and around my rib cage.

Life is in the details, mates. The slug that crawls, the stars that shine with ferocity, and even the scorpions that nick you on the hand, desiccating the tissue and turning it black until the venom grounds itself down and the body starts to heal.

So many thoughts, so many emotions. The soldiers here, they use my sat phone to call home for a quick, premature conversation if only to say to a girlfriend I love you, mi amor. Me? Ain't got no one special to call so it seems a waste not to let them use my phone.

Being here has taught me a few things, like enjoying a cold coke or a hot meal or a warm shower or the soft kiss of someone held near and dear. Life is among these promontories, but the life I desire, the life I lead, a life less ordinary will carry me from here and onward to new adventures.

But the stars, mates, the stars. If only you could see them here, with nary a trace of terrestrial light to mess up the view.

If only.

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