Tag Archives: childhood

Ants.

I sit in the courtyard watching them.  It is square, concrete all around, the pad under my butt.

Grit everywhere.  Sand.  Small pebbles like irregular irises.

Sun beats down. It’s so hot and I’m thirsty but there’s nothing to drink.  I am stuck here, in this roomless cell with its roofless walls, a prisoner of my own making.

I have misbehaved again

and shuffle to the courtyard

head down, eyes narrowed against the strong sunlight streaming into my darkness

as I shuffle out into the courtyard

and sit down.

Counting ants.

Watching them.

Look at them scuttle, run around.

I pick up a small stone – a boulder to him.

and I throw it.

It bounces around, missing him.

I pick up another and throw it again.  Then a handful.

Bombs falling down

in the ant playground

while I sit watching them.


 

 

– This is from my childhood, when I’d get so bored and there was nothing to do.  I don’t know where the courtyard came from, but we were there. Sitting there in the hot sun.  Voices in the distance tell me I am not alone, but there is no one elsewhere that I can detect . . .
I was held prisoner sometimes
in that courtyard in my mind
and ants were the only entertainment I had;
that, and the blazing sun.
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Training

“Animals are trained.  Children are taught.” – E.T., July 2011

That is something that he (E.T.) taught me, along with a few other things.  (“We eat people food.  People food comes from the grocery stores.  Why don’t you STOP asking me if this plant is edible or that is good to eat.”  This from my friend who was also abusing me (verbally and mentally that is).  He is an ex-Intelligence agent (really and truly, he is!).  Worked for the CIA (or MK if you want to put it in other words).  Had me confused with someone else.  But we ‘stopped him’ (albeit a bit) . . . by doing the things that we had been trained to do; taught to do, even as a small child.

And then I came across a post by Faith Allen, called “Child Abuse as Traumatizing as War“.  It immediately set off some issues for me.  And then I realized: it’s because as a small child, I’ve always been preparing for war – a war of some kind against somebody – whether that be my own brother (who, in his turn, was waging war against me – in his own time and his own way, including methods of extreme violence.)  We covered some of this in “The Armageddon Child”, but . . .

We were learning and knew how to make puji stake traps at the age of eight years old.  We knew to cover them with feces to make them enemy die.

We knew how to make basic deadfalls and sh** by the time we were 13.  These were for killing a man.

We knew how to set up a claymore mine by the time we were 8.  The important thing is to always make sure it stays outwards.  There’s a side printed with words like that.  “This Side Towards Enemy” I think it says.  And then you connect the two little wires and run like rats down into your little ‘foxholes’ and wait.

We were practicing firing RPG type weapons – not loaded, but disposables with telescoping tubes and fold down sights – when we were 9 and 10.  We rode in tanks (and learned you’d better be tied down to something – or hanging on tight – as they bounced around).  We did the same “ground jumps” from stationary towers . . . but this was being in the military.  This was part of being “a brat”.  So it was the ‘usual’ thing.

I’m betting a lot of the children ‘in there’ (meaning “The Fortress*”) were trained like me.  Trained in the arts of war.  How to deploy your forces.  How to build a trap.  Smearing puji sticks with feces and stuff.  Playing games of war.  Riding in tanks and traveling with the troops; squatting inside APC’s listening to their commanders give out orders and take reports in . . . cruising the countryside “looking for them” – meaning the enemy soldiers and commanders and things . . . learning how to ‘observe’ them, noting their movements – then going in and ‘taking command’ by misdirecting them and things . . . stuff like that.  Sneaky kinda stuff.  The kind of stuff you do on your time off – for ‘shits and giggles and things’.  That’s the way we were.

I remember being trained on a bow when I was 7 years old.  It was a light kind of bow, and we shot it often until we were very good at that thing.

We were all given BB guns when we were eight years old.  You would get into trouble for shooting someone with them, but we had wars anyway.  BB Gun wars and stuff.  Taking pain – that’s what it was all about: our ability to withstand pain.

We were set on by our first dog by the time we were six or seven.  He was a big one and he was a German shepperd.  He was chained to a tree so he could only stand up (on his hind legs of course) – we thought he was muzzled, but no, I guess not (seeing him quite clearly right now: chained to a big ol’ pine tree set in the neighbor’s back yard – he’s rearing up and we’re approaching him – fearful at times – he’s barking loud and waving his front end all around . . .

and somebody shoves us in; shoves us to him, and he starts clawing on my chest; ripping me down from stem to stern, hurting me kinda bad.  The adults don’t step in (it was one of them – I think my mom, or the other mom – I don’t kinda know) – and I’m left there to fend this dog (he stands way taller than me; I can only reach his chest) – and I’m pushing away and crying and things and the dog is ripping me apart – and then I step back (it’s clear right now) blood running down my chest.  I’ve been ripped from shoulders to bladder and on down – I didn’t have my shirt on, no one wore them (they were too precious a thing; they had to be kept with our pants in the drawers and things, along with our other good clothes)

and he’s hurt me kinda bad I’m dripping blood and things and the adults take me to the back of the brick sided single story ranch house (with white framed windows; there are six panels in each window, each three panes wide, and there are six windows in this house – at this side only; chck chk chk

yes we have seeen the front of this house before and we can describe it to a T but that just goes to show . . .

our training and all

is incomplete.

* – you should read “Military Brats: Legacies of Childhood Inside the Fortress” by Mary Edwards Wertsch if you were (or are) a military dependent of ANY kind – or want to find and know (albeit only somewhat – nobody can truly know or understand anything about it until they’ve been there – and I was “with” the military in one way or another during my first 26 years . . .)

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Sleeping in the Snow . . .

The frosty blew a cold frozen mist across our faces as the deuce and a half plowed along the roads, whipping in from the tailgate end under the green canvas cover.  The heavy green canvas, military grade, was stiff and frozen, like us.  The wind blew sharp ice crystals against our red cheeks, stinging them.  Every once and awhile came the heavy labored huffing and chuffing as the multi-fuel engine struggled to go up some hill.

I looked around.  I sat huddled with some others – our team was split; not out of necessity, but because some of our gear kept us warm.  Having our sleeping bags and backpacks piled up on the ends of the twin rows of hard wooden bench seats helped some.  Having a cigarette in my hand helped some more.  I hunched over the glowing coal, cupping it in my hand for the smoke’s warmth, wishing some of it would drift to my body; then I took another toke.

I was eleven, maybe twelve.  No more.

The boys – all of us, there were about six or seven, I suppose, plus those two G.I.’s – were going on a ‘camp out’ somewhere in the German mountains.  It was cold and it was the middle of winter; the skies were overcast, gray.  Foreboding long fingers and curtains of steel lay across the land; from them a pelting mist fell – half hail, half sleet, and sometimes snow.  All of my compatriots and I were dressed in the same thing: a long pair of ‘Long Johns’ (long underwear), a pair of boots – some  good thick socks on (I think I had two pairs of them), plus a set of warm drawers.  Add to that a set of mittens – or gloves (which I preferred, though mittens kept your hands warmer since your fingers were together all the time).  And field coats – the military kind.

All of us kids wore “Army jackets” – for the pockets if nothing else – especially on these kinds of missions.  We’d spent our days (and some nights) in the bunkers, planning.  These were the old WWII bunkers, left over by the Germans – and there were some secrets there.  Many, in fact, and to tell the truth: some of them are still hidden there, buried beneath that airfield at Fleigerhorst Kaserne.  Seven layers down (I’m told) it went – and only 3 were open to us boys.  Above secret airplanes flew – and sometimes bombs, some of them nuclear.  Us kids weren’t unaware ofeverything that was going on – and we had been told (sometimes right down there in them bunkers; sometimes in some old stuffy office or drills) what was going on.  The shuffling of weapons; the breaking of treaties; it was all old news to us.

We were training for this – how to become expert guerilla fighters (in some ways) – ones who needed no direction, who would ‘band together’ naturally and of their own accord – smart enough to take on the enemy in small groups using hit-and-run warfare; able enough to survive on their own in a ‘nuclear environment’, despite the use of ‘pesticides’ (meaning killing us, meaning killing little boys – and by ‘pesticide’ I mean either a nuclear, chemical, or biological weapon: weapons of mass destruction that they can sneak in through the woods; the smallest crack in our lives – and doing us in.  The good ol’ USA wouldn’t be the good ol’ US of A anymore.  It would be the United States of Russia.

And we were the front guard.

Just a bunch of little children – Army brats being trained; being told: this is what you do.  This is how you survive.  This is how you fight back when you engage the enemy.  This is where you run to.  Things like that.

Things like ‘how to hook up a Claymore mine’.  “How to fire a machine-gun (look out; it rises and bucks to the left . . .)”.  How to open a parachute.  How to come in for a landing when wearing one (low; at a half-crouch, preparing to take the shock; rolling, rolling, rolling with the thing – then out comes the knife; off snaps the lines – and you are prepared.  Grab your weapon and move on . . .)

How to live in a cave – a dirt shack; a ditch; in the woods; in a meadow – how to ‘hide’ in plain sight (if need be) – how to stay motionless for HOURS; not to move, not for anything (not for a bug biting you – or a million of hot ants crawling all over your body – or bee stings – or even dying some of the times . . . it felt like that sometimes; like you were dying inside.  Usually from ‘holding your breath’ – though someone was holding it for me I suppose, on the other end . . . dunno.)

Crazy stuff to be sure . . . but getting back to that trip in the snow.

We spent three days there – living off cold C-Rations, wrapping ourselves up in our sleeping bags (Bag, Sleeping, Artic: Down Filled . . . good down to 0-30Degrees. Centigrade.)  Sleeping with just our nose sticking out – buried in the falling snow at night, snug in our warm little cocoons.  I still sleep with a fan on me, reminding me of that thing – how beautiful (and cruel they seemed sometimes!) – the stars staring back at me from out of the night; my breath warm and frosty at the same time; those puffs of air rising out into the cold . . .

You could look around you – this would be at about three o’clock in the morning – and you would see these humps where these sleeping bags lay – and at the end of every one this tiny dot; this little cave, with steam in the moonlight rising.  It looked cool – and the silence of the snow bound woods (except for the occasional thump of falling snow somewhere from some branch that was off-loading) – and the dark pines rising up – white above; dark below; their thin trunks like knees hugging the ground . . .

It was a beautiful place; a haunting memory; just one of several.

And I don’t really know what all it means; who I was a part ‘of’ (it was supposed to be in Boy Scouts; but we met in a bunker and things.  It even had gas-tight doors which swung closed with great iron lever bar latches.  Grey in color they were – and heavy as all get-out.  It took two of us boys to make the really big doubles ones swing sometimes; it was all I could do to push one – just a heavy one – closed.

Just strange.

I think I need – I should – examine the period some more.

 

 

That’s a type of truck; a military one.  It looks like this:

 

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13. “Buried Alive”

I remember when I was thirteen and we were almost buried alive.  Us and our friend, S.

Him and me had dug an underground fort, and this was was shaped like a grave.  It very nearly became one and I was 13, 13

13

14 or so.  (keep getting stuck on that; sorry folks; tried three times – erased deleted and done again…keep on going.. forcing this thing)

13

we were in the thing.

it was big – it was almost as big as I was; that is to say it was almost as tall as one.  And we couldn’t stand up in this thing, this friend and I.

We had built this thing deep; next to a shed – it was exactly about six foot long and three foot wide, and it didn’t have a top on it.  It was built into sandy soil; we knew the hazards of what we were doing but we had done it before and survived (losing ability to type; this was before “i’ we learned)

we were digging this thing and we put a top on it made out of ply wood and things using some boards and whatnot.  We put some cinder blocks on top to steady the top and then we buried it all in that sandy soil.

we went right in climbing down a ladder we made and this was the thing it was dark and cool in that cave and we had brought a game and some candles.

So we sat down right there Indian style (firming up here some – measuring emotions and feelings for sure) and we’re playing this game (he’s retreating, so I’m going to have to take over.  Which makes sense.  This is when “the bad thing happened” and I can feel a lot f fear – both for him and my friend)

We were sitting there playing this game and the wall fell in.  It was the one to my left which was the one to the right of my friend.  It simply fell in all of a sudden with this sudden “whoosh!” kind of sound, but one you’ll (we’ll) never forget.

It was the sound of a million million sand grains all rushing against one another.

And it fell in, burying my head and arms – as I knew it had done my friend, having seen HIM going down and under this heavy load of sand – and we’d been warned again and again not to do this: build a cave in the sand.  Kids had been killed doing this – having this same sort of thing happen . . .

But we didn’t panic!  Not so bad, anyways – we immediately knew what to do, even as the sand was pouring over our head.  We tucked in our noses and our chin, creating an air gap within the pocket between our neck/face and chest; we used our hands to push the sand away; trying to keep our head unburied – until we’d formed a tiny funnel with just the top of our head and arms sticking out -and breathing in that sand – you gotta be careful, you gotta get it quick – before it can settle – and it had settled in; fortunately we had our hands clear, and we pushed away the sand and raised our head – it’s dark, but there’s light coming through from the opening down into the ‘tunnel’ – and I can see my friend and he’s raising his head and it’s all covered with sand . . .

and we push it away, me and him – both trapped in this sitting position, Indian style – the sand is pressing against my chest, squeezing harder with each breath – you gotta watch out, sand can ‘squeeze’ you to death, you get enough of a load on you – so it’s shallow breaths from then on . . .

and me and my bud’s eyes go to the opposite wall where there are sand grains a’crumblin’ and we look at each other and you know?  We can see death in each other’s eyes; we know we are potentially within moments of dying at any time . . .

There’s little kids outside and one runs and comes and jumps on our ‘house’ – he’s done this before – then before we can yell at him to stop or help – he’s run away (they are playing in the yard, blissfully unaware that two of their friends are seconds from dying just a few yards away . . . buried under the ground . . .)

And my friend and I look at one another and laugh and say:

“You know, if that wall falls down, we’re dying.”  There’s a seriousness in my voice.  The same seriousness that an old man heard a few years ago, and made his antenna stand straight up (I was warning him about something dangerous he was going to do – afterwards he said he could hear the change in my voice and knew: this was some serious ass shit he was fixing to get into: he’d better be careful as hell and listen to my instructions – to save his ass.  Out in the Arizona desert.  2 years back).

Off subject (avoiding this one . . . again, for obvious reasons.  Apparently it was some kind of traumatic thing here.  Any opinions on this?  I’ve lost contact with the emotions regarding this event  . . . except a kind of subliminal fear; anticipation . . . okay, here goes … fallign back in)

We were in the pit.  We kept on yelling for help.  No one would come.  There were more and more grains of sand kept crumbling off that wall.  Sooner or later someone would come we kept hoping and yelllig until our lungs were sore from it.  And then someone come.  One of the kids I think.  Maybe my own brother finally come to see what was up.  Or maybe it was dinner (supper) time.  Anyway it was a long long time.

They come and dig us up.  They weren’t real careful doing it.  At first they (my dad and his friend) were ripping off the roof and a cinder block hit my friend

It hit him right on the head knocking him out right then.  Wang, bang, it fell it; his head fell over like a dead chicken right there in the sand.  LOL not even a peep outta him if you get my meaning and drift.  So’s we’re sitting there looking at him and hoping they aren’t going to be dropping no cinderblock on OUR head when we warn them: Look out up there you are dropping cinderblocks on our head.  so they look out.

meanwhile this other wall is crumbling in .  My friend wakes up and looks at me; rubs a sore spot on his head and asks me what is happening what happened and I point at the thing and say: “Hey, that block fell on your head” and we both start laughing about the wildness of the whole thing.

Meanwhile they are still digging us on outta there and the shovel blades hurting as it goes in skinning along our chest and back and things…

and then they go to lift us up

and grabbing our wrists they do – lift us up, just like we are – still sitting, for our legs are locked and we can’t move them at all.

And they sit us down on the ground like two petrified Indians – petrified from waist down.  We can breath again, which is a relief, and it takes awhile for the effect to wear off.

and finally they lead me, stumbling in; I can barely walk – and I’m taking a shower and I hurt and it feels good but I’m so sandy it takes a long while …

and I hurt for a long long time.

the end.

and to tell the truth I didn’t like it a lot.  you all. (sullen mad at ‘us’, his alters in some way . . . why?  I don’t know . .. . hurts and lonely inside … calling to him … time to go …. talk to ‘myself’ for awhile 😦 <-him.

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