Tag Archives: memories

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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Whispering Leaves In A Barren Forest

Imagine:

A Forest in twilight, its limbs stripped bare.
A land, torn; branches reaching, grasping at the air.
Ash on the wind tastes like the ash of your own soul
as you wander this rolling land
with the trees all stripped bare.

Leaves blowing by your feet; scuttling away in the wind.
Whisper their tiny secrets like a clutter of scuttling friends
scurrying away from you
while above gray skies, plated like glass
stacked grayer on an endless horizon
greets your open eyes.

You are walking there,
Looking endlessly for something,
anything not dead and bare.
Something you lost long ago;
you ignore the whispers in the air
and the eyes that are staring at you from the hollows
of this distant land.

The wind blows: cold, yet eerily quiet
through the grasping trees,
yet not so quiet you can’t hear whisper of the whispering leaves
scuttling across the dry cold ground
bound for an unseen horizon
with a hushed and solemn sound.

They gather in burrows and boles
and among the roots and holes
of this forgotten land.
Those whispering leaves
which drive you mad
with the remembrances of times and places
where even the good times leave
you feeling empty and sad.

The autumn wind blows through the barren forest, stirring the dead leaves resting there.
Whispers of memory fill my mind as I breath the wintery yet dead air.
Of ancient memory and forgotten places,
persons that I loved.

Cold gray clouds like stacked glass panes rise into a striated sky.
I wander the hidden forest, watching those leaves blow by.
Each one whispers their secrets
as the northwest wind howls from behind.
Shhhh! Listen carefully
to these whispers from my mind . . .

 

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Eagles In His Eyes

A an old friend of mine and I were headed to the funeral of a mutual friend; both were much older than me.  I’m driving along and he looks up at the sky.

“Look!  Eagles,” he excitedly announces, peering up and pointing a withered finger.  His thick lensed glasses make his eyes large and owl-like as he looks at me, grinning in delight.  Hunching over the steering wheel, I glance up.  All I can see are a couple turkey vultures wheeling overhead.  I grimace, thinking about something dead.

“No,” I say, settling back in my seat.  “Those are vultures.”

He looks at me, then looks at them doubtfully.  He leans forward, squinting against the sun and shielding his eyes with his hand.  Finally he settles back in his seat and looks at me.

“Eagles,” he firmly declares.

I think for a moment.  Wouldn’t that be great?, I thought somewhat enviously, somewhat bitterly, if I could see eagles instead of vultures when there are only vultures there?  To me it seemed to represent a potential way of thinking; of coming to positive terms with some aspects of myself – and life beyond.  If only I could see eagles instead of vultures – like he does, I thought again with that envious notion.  How much better it would be!

I glanced at the sky one more time.  The ‘eagles’ were still wheeling there – their black wings extended, their trade-mark turkey vulture pattern of black and white showing up clearly as they banked against the sky . . . .

“Yes,” I said, settling back in the seat again.  “Eagles!  Whatta ya know . . . what a special thing that is . . .”  I smiled – and he smiled – and I think it was a sort of smile we hadn’t smiled in a long time – one of knowing and accepting some things; making the best of them, despite them – because of them . . .

Or in some cases, deciding that the eagles were vultures – and vultures eagles sometimes . . .

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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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The Islands

The Islands

It was summer, thank God; otherwise the weather would have been miserable. But summer brought its own discomforts: mosquitoes, insects, hot weather, and humidity. Of them all, it was the humidity which was the worst. I could stand the blood sucking ticks infesting my body; crawling all over me at night; each morning I would find myself removing upwards of fifty of them – some tiny pinpricks and dots, others huge ‘dog ticks’ which were bloated from having fed on my body.

The problem was the ticks were dead. I couldn’t back them out to save my life. Something about my body – it had started when I was about sixteen years old – killed the blood sucking insects. And not some of them – all of them. In boot camp I had made money by betting my blood would knock the big ol’ “Tiger Striped” mosquitoes dead. I would let them come and bite me – settling on my arm – and they would feed, their big green and black striped bodies swelling – and then they would fall over comatose, or even dead. (I don’t know; I didn’t have the tools – nor time – to test them.) Something about my blood stream – chemicals, perhaps? – I spent a lot of time working with chemicals, and in the Army labs . . . who knows.

Anyway, on this particular mission we are on an island – and we are not alone. There are three of ‘us’ and dozen of ‘them’. And it’s not really an island – it’s more like two. Like a giant dumbbell, it has a narrow strip of sand connecting the two knobs of pine and brush encrusted land. The two sandbars stretch towards each other like tapering fingers; narrowing to a thin underwater crown in the middle where you can wade across – if you dare. Sometimes when the water goes down you can see where this was once one piece of land, but tides and currents have cut it in half. The sandbar is sparsely sprinkled with narrow trees and thin leafed scrub which peters out as the water begins; the middle of the sandbar dives beneath the lapping waves and the brush becomes so thin you can see right through it – feet and yards separate the stems.

Our mission is really quite simple. Infiltrate, attack, escape. Or don’t escape. It doesn’t matter. All that matters is taking “them” down.

However . . . this is a training mission; not a real one. We are in substandard gear: combat boots and jungle greens; a hat on our head. Not much else. Got a pocket knife in my pocket. Nothing else. Nothing at all. And ‘they‘ are just a bunch of kids, really; just greenhorns; this is their first real ‘mission’, their first time in the swamp . . .

Apparently we are to go ‘gung-ho’ on this mission; someone succeeded in leaving (or losing) all our gear behind. WE have to go it alone . . . and someone has to hold the boat and ‘base’. This is as planned; and what we were trained for (in part, and a very small part at that; we were trained to know much more than this. Much, much more.)

So I leave one of my men with the boat (it’s pulled up in the weeds; appropriately camouflaged – our Marine is waiting in the reeds a few dozen yards away, ready to open fire if someone comes up to steal it) . . .

And I direct my other man to go to the edge of the island – expose himself; just some darts and dashes through the brush where (if they are looking) – the ‘others’ will see him; keeping their attention on that part of the island . . . while I make my way behind . . .

Now . . . I’m a Marine and a soldier – was a soldier as a child, so being a ‘Marine’ is literally “child’s play” to me – recalling old memories and strategies I didn’t know I have . . . but do.

So I know: the sandbar is going to be guarded. ‘They’ are going to have someone watching it to see if someone on ‘our’ side is using it to sneak over to theirs. And sure enough, as I’m creeping and watching (with no intention whatsoever of using the sandbar route, though my ‘partner’ in crime is sniffing and snooping at it as though he intends on using it) – I see ‘him’ – one of the others: a shifting mass in the bushes; a barely seen sort of silhouette that seems like leaves . . . but doesn’t. He’s done a fine job of hiding himself . . . but he’s forgotten to break up his outline. As low as I am I can see through the screen of leaves and he is outlined (albeit roughly) against the sky through the brush. To just look at him sideways or looking down you would think he was simply a thicker clump of brush – one within another – but looking up from ground level he stands clear. I can see him as low to the ground as I am.

But I go on; I move on – I don’t want him seeing me . . . so I dart in a low crouch, taking advantage of the weeds and cover to the other side of the island where the screen of trees on the spit of land separating the two islands hides me from his view. Dropping to my belly, I slither across the land – high crawl, low crawl, stooped run – get to the edge of the foliage, where I drop from view again . . . slithering like a snake down to the water . . . wishing I had a rifle in my hand.

But “we’re” not allowed to use them; not on this mission. On this mission I’m supposed to ‘roust’ the enemy with my bare hands . . . steal a weapon or something . . . be creative. Improvise. Because I’m not just a Marine – I’m a tough one. A top one. One of the guys you don’t want to meet in a dark alley when you’re up to something no good.

It’s gonna be difficult, I’m thinking, crawling through the sand towards the water, puzzling out the puzzle, staring through the weeds; the waves now gently lapping at my side; the sun falling from its crest towards the west – gotta get this mission done . . .

So I slip in, full uniform and everything . . . slipping into the water like a stream; a breeze; hardly a ripple or wave . . . lower than the grass that grows in thick clumps on this beach in this swamp in this land . . .

As I go I select a reed; not a tall one; not a long one, and one not too thick . . .

I want something inconspicuous.

So with this reed in my hand I head out into deeper water – for I know: if they have someone on the beach watching this side of the sandbar they will see my shadow angling under the water if I get too close to land. I need to go further out – so that it takes a steeper angle – so that I can hide and swim . . .

Swimming underwater, breathing through this reed; this stem.

And I’m hoping no one notices this: a single stem traveling against the current through the waves a hundred feet out. I’m hoping it leaves no wake while I flutter my boot laden feet; feel my uniform trying to drag me under . . .

The water was green that day. I remember that: ‘swimming’ on my back, the reed tightly tucked between my lips, staring up through the pale green water at the shimmering star of a sun glimmering down – little flecks of vegetation and bits of debris’ floating past as I swung my arms and fluttered my leaden feet, desperately trying to go on.

My body felt like iron; my head began to spin and thump; it was hard swimming with my boots and uniform on. But I kept on going . . . wondering how far I’d come. I didn’t want to surface too soon – I didn’t want to drag myself up on the beach to find myself on that sandbar separating the islands – then the game would be up. I’d be caught and there’d just be two of my men to accomplish this thing. Best I get it done alone. The way I had planned all along . . .

So I redoubled my efforts and struggled on . . .

And I got tired.

So tired.

So tired that I began I considering . . .

Not . . . going . . . on . . .

How much easier it would be to simply give up, go ahead and drown, a voice began whispering in my head. Why not give in? Just let the water have you . . . there’s no reason to keep moving on . . .

And it was right. I had no one to love; no one who loved me. I had no reason to keep going on. No love; not really; not anymore. I’d given up love a long time ago; swearing off ‘love’ until the end of time. No reason to keep on surviving . . . no reason to be. My parents might feel some grief . . . but who cares? They’d get over it. Everyone would. I had done nothing special . . . there was no reason to keep on struggling to survive . . .

And even this mission: it was bullshit. This wasn’t a mission: it was a training exercise, and not a very good one at that. I was the only one taking this thing seriously; I always did. When it came to missions – getting my job done – I always took my job very seriously (though I might joke – and complain – just like any other good Marine should – or would.)

And I was tired – so tired of swimming. But even more than that – I was tired of everything. Tired of life, tired of living . . . I kept swimming, thinking, growing weaker . . . and I gave in.

Sinking, I watched the water grow greener, darker; sinking, I did not care.

And then it came.

All my regrets – not for what I’d done, but left undone; not of what I had been, but for what I had not yet become . . . so much of ‘me’ was missing; buried inside . . . and there was that novel, the book I wanted to write, calling me. Believe it or not, it called, begging for me to finish this thing. A story of love; the hope of love, the death of love . . . so much in me, begging to get out . . . despairing because I knew it would never be, not with the way I am . . .

And the acceptance began. This is it, the end, I thought, watching the green grow darker. Screw it – I’m all done.

But then . . . those regrets surged within me. Faces swam. I was not done; not just yet. I had a mission to do. Not just for ‘them’ – but myself. Get those things done. Then I could die without any regret. Then I could ‘move on’.

So I gathered my determination, pushing at the water once again – the reed was below the surface . . . flailing, I rose, my boots dragging me down . . . but I could feel that now; that seed of determination growing . . .

And since hope is hope, I struggled on . . . flailing in that green water. The surface was calm, but not underneath, that thin reed slowly proceeding against the waves; me struggling to hold it there – struggling not to sink and drown, not to give in and go under both at the same time . . .

And then I felt the sand; the dirt, the bottom hitting the heel of my outstretched boot – I kept reaching down, trying to touch bottom, until I finally did – the reed still poking (just barely!) above the surface as I kept on . . .

and I moved on.

Creeping up the beach – so low, slinking like a snake – the once so vital reed now tossed aside. I had come up midway on the island, towards its rounded side, and the beach was littered with rocks and weeds – low growing, but higher as I moved up the bank. The bank soon gave way to a depression, and I found myself crawling – low crawl, for straight ahead I could ‘see’ my enemy – less with my eyes than with sound, though I could see the occasional silhouette flicker along the beach of a cove that nestled in the island’s side.

I crawled carefully through the mud and slime. The forest was thick and wild; I crawled beneath low hung bushes and thorny vine. As I was watching my opponents I just happened to look down where I placing my hand . . .

There right beneath it was curled a coil of sleeping copperhead – only about an inch around. He was in a perfect coil; his little head stuck up from the middle like a green arrowhead, a tapering finger. I watched. No tongue was moving, I froze without a sound.

Carefully I backed my hand away – it was only an inch or so above his snout. Had I set my hand down – even today I find myself shaking my head. It was hours to the nearest aid station; another hour or so to antivenom – had I not looked down at just that moment; had I gone ahead and placed my hand down, thought and sight unseen – I would have been bitten by a venomous snake. As it was I was presented with an ultimate chance and a risk; both at the same time, by this snake barring my path and blocking me from this mission of mine.

So I took out my old pocketknife and I cut myself a vine. Then casting around, I located a small limb on the ground. Quickly fashioning a small loop and tying the vine the the end of the stick, I made me a small ‘snake stick’ to catch this snake with. It was a short one – no more than a foot long – and I was barely risen on my elbows in the mud – but sneaking a quick look towards my opposition, I could see no threat there. The ‘boys’ were busy fishing (or trying to) in the cove while others took position around a small boat – and there were others gathered around a small fire they’d made on the beach in preparation for the fish they’d cook tonight . . .

They were ‘partying’, in other words, and this old tired Marine was going to teach them a thing or two about ‘dedication to mission’ and doing things right – no matter where you are or what the mission was. Even a bullshit mission like this one. The fact was: they were cocky, overconfident Marines; confidence in their capabilities (whereas to my eyes they had none – or little, anyway. They could shoot – I’d give them that – but the time had come to teach them a lesson in improvisation . . . and they knew the odds too well: a dozen against two or three. They had become over cocky. They would leave being Marines. Because a real Marine knows: you can lose. So you had better be careful. All of the time.

Turning my attention from the unsuspecting Marines before me (they were about twenty-five yards away) – I began lowering my noose around my equally unsuspecting partner in crime – the little snake I’d found.

As I began aiming the noose around his head it touched him – right on the nose! I froze; the stick hovering there – shivering slightly, but the noose held still. The snake, awakened, flickered his tongue and rose up! – directly through the waiting loop as I watched him; it was like an Indian trick. Here’s this little snake – this little cottonmouth – all curled up in a perfect coil, his head in the middle – sticking straight up, mind you! – and when I touch him his head rises up; the rest of his body remains still . . .

Until, that is, that I judge it is time to catch him, and I snatch the end of that vine tight.

The loop – thick as yarn, hairy with broken fiber (I had twisted it ’round and ’round for flexibility) – closes around his neck like a clamp, and I’ve got . . .

Snake on a stick. A dancing one, at that! And he’s dancing for his life while I’m dancing for mine (being careful! Of course! To keep the noise down . . .)

And then the stick breaks. Go figure – that’s what I had figured when I first picked it up. It was a rotten stick on the ground – in the woods, no less – and a swamp. To say the least it was rotten. And it broke right in the middle.

And boy, that snake was mad. And agitated. And several other things.

So . . . being the trusty boy that I am – I whip out my trusty pocketknife (it’s as dull as a thread) – and stab it down at his head – pinning him in the mud, just behind the neck, while the body writhes on . . .

and sawing and sawing I saw his little ol’ son-of-a-biscuit eater’s head right on off . . .

and then I grab this thing: this swirling whirling mass of body . . .

and I creep on . . .

and then arriving at the thin screen of bushes separating ‘us’ from them – I stand up! Snake in my hand (and a writhing one at that!) – scream! A ferocious SCREAM! – and throw this snake at them; the crowd that’s gathered around that old campfire (they’ve got some fish frying by now) . . . and it lands among them; twisting and writhing in the sand . . .

and I cry:

“SNAKE!”

and they go running in all directions . . . dropping their weapons; leaving them behind – a few go for the boat; end up swamping it trying to get end (there’s too many of them scrambling at one time) . . . others go running, panicking into the woods . . .

and a few – a precious few – go on trying to walk across water to reach the land . . .

It was a total success and a total rout . . . by one man.

I felt my success that day.

Not only in my mission – but in saving my life. Because in that lake, in that time – when I was most giving up hope; when I knew I could no longer go on . . .

I had experienced what it was like to die: recognizing that thing, facing your doubts, your fears – your regrets and things . . .

and that final acceptance about moving on . . .

right before it occurred to me: I have a choice in this thing – a last gasp sort of choice – but a choice to struggle on . . .

or give up and just die ‘right here’; drowning in some unknown pond . . .

You know which one I made.

The struggle to go on.

(*there’s a symbology in all that ‘calm surface’ and the reed; and the struggle that was going on – but I’m going to leave you to figure it out . . . give ya a hint: . . . calm water; disturbed mind, a struggle for life, to move against the current . . . . and the reed: life, or our connection to –it which oddly enough ties into another story we have, one of garden hoses and trenches dug in the sands of time . . .)

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Infiltrate, Assimilate – Move On: The Army Kid

Infiltrate, assimilate – that is what we were trained in.

But on the other hand, isn’t every kid ‘trained’ – instinctively driven by Nature – by the need to infiltrate and assimilate the world around him?

It makes sense to take a kid – subject him to all kinds of different environments – and see how well he fares – how he assimilates and integrates the world around him into a life of his own.

And what happens when you take this kid – as soon as they have ‘assimilated’ and grounded themselves in the world they are in – and yank him into a different world.  And then another one.  And another.  And another.  Ad infinitum.  On and on it goes.

What happens when you do this to a child who is six, seven, eight years old?  Nine, ten, and eleven?  When you keep jerking him to and fro – changing not only the outside aspects of his world, but the inner ones as well?

What happens when you yank him here and there – letting him assimilate one culture at a time – in a whirlwind blur?  When you go from abusing them in one moment – and then ‘abuse him nevermore’?

Never happens, never did: the abuse goes on: it just changes form, like the world around him.  It went from physical to mental and beyond.

What you end up with is an extremely adaptable child – one who can fit in anywhere – and yet due to what’s happened to him, fits nowhere – nowhere at all.

A lost child, but NOT a bewildered child – one who is just struggling to get along – cope with what he is feeling (without having those skills – that, too, is something he has taught himself: how to get along.  Not just with others, but himself as well – learning to ‘manage’ his disparate selves; how to ignore them – how to ‘get along’.

(shhhhh . . . don’t tell him how.  Let him figure it out on his own . . .)

You are not allowed to ask any questions.  Puzzles placed before you – entire foreign lands – and you are ‘dropped’ in to ‘assimilate’, infiltrate, move on . . .

And being from a military culture, what does this kid zoom in on?  Why military things of course!  Targets and assets and the like.  Noting them in his mind.  As well as the way the people speak; dress, do their hair.  Mannerisms and gestures – everything! we simply absorb it in . . .

making it ‘ours’ – or rather, a ‘new one’s’ – that is, a new personality in our mind.

That’s what I think we did.  Making a ‘new’ one all the time – each time we’d move (which is why I don’t remember the thing; ‘we’ were blanked out for moving, and we’d ‘awake’ into this new environment – and the the assimilation process would begin.  We would begin to change, inside as well as out (meaning in behavior, thought and things).  We would begin to become one with them (whoever ‘them’ are – or were in the past) – those ‘foreign beings’ – becoming one with them, in them – because of them – our mimicking skills gone wild – adjusting and controlling from within . . .

until we were ‘there’.

We would have one of ‘him’ – or ‘them’, if you prefer.  An ‘alien’ entity; another part of ourself to ‘carry on’; move on – thrive and survive in this ‘new society’ of ‘his’ . . . becoming ‘like them’, one with them in ‘mind, body, and soul.’

All the good Germans said “What a good German he’d make!” not only when I was just a child, but later on . . .

the black folks at work said the same thing . . . how I was ‘like them’, was ‘one of them’, which was why they could talk to me so freely.  (and yes, I can imitate them quite well . . .).  Not dispargingly so – but FEELING it, and BEING that sort of thing – not a white man anymore, but something different – a kind of ‘blend’ . . .

same goes for abused children.

Same goes for just about anything.

I can sympathize with the psychotic; I can get into their head; I can sympathize with . . . just about anything – which kinda tears apart my mind, heart, emotions sometimes.

Being DID is more than just a feeling . . .

It’s a way of thought.

(thinking I might assimilate this thing . . . this computer I’ve been working on . . . LOL’ing going on . . . nothing, no emotions, just pixels on the screen . . .  and I’m turning it off right now.)

Until later . . .

a troubled Jeff, et all, and Friends
(mostly Matthew’s in here; this one, as well as our small child, and I, the being called ‘Jeff’ am a little bit perturbed . . . this ‘job’ I’ve had in mind is a little bit more difficult than I’d thought, my friends inside . . .)

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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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Filed under 13, child abuse survivor, DID