“You watched that stuff yet?”
“No. Too scared,” I said.
“Oh come on. Just put that one cd in. The gold one. Just look at it for one second.”
“What? One second. A second? Why would I do that?”
“Because the first thing you’ll see is me. My face. Come on, E. Just put it in, look at me and then you can stop it. One second.”
“Why?” I asked, cagily.
“Why? Why she asks! Oh man. I just want you to see what I look like!”
“I know what you look like.”
I asked him once how he survived all those years and all the missions and he told me never let his guard down for a second. “Not for one second,” he said. “Not one, ever,” he added.
And you might not think it possible not to let your guard down for a period of six or nine months or in one case, two years, but I know him, so I just listened and made a mental note to consider this later. Because you can’t assimilate this stuff in the moment, at least I can’t. I have to wait a day or two or three and then let myself wonder about something like this. What’s it like to be always on alert?
So when I finally put that first cd in… the one he said was innocuous, I could see exactly what he meant. He was here and he was there. I have no idea where he was. I don’t know which country is which but he was doing various things, all of them innocuous but that didn’t matter because I could see him scanning. I could see the eyes in the back of his head, always vigilant.
And what I could see, was that he was at WORK! You know. He may be eating breakfast now, but that’s not what he’s going to be doing later. They plan these missions for months, and sometimes years. And they do not fail! At least he doesn’t. If you fail you’re going to be dead so if this is your standard, then you are at work at all times. And this is what was apparent. And aware of the hum around him in every frame, I was deeply stirred.
Later we talked.
“I liked your sandbag house,” I said.
There were several of them living in this fort type thing made of sandbags. There were holes to shoot through and it had little compartments, like bedrooms built in. Very small rooms with sandbags stacked up to make a bed. Or more like a sandbag platform to sleep on. It was a trip. Why are they there, and for how long? I’d wondered.
“And I liked the guys you were with too,” I said. “I was amused.”
“Oh, those guys. Well, they’re dead,” he said.
“They were killed just a couple days after that was filmed.”
“Yeah. That place got overrun. I came back one morning and found them all…”
He described the scene and it’s a pure horror. He’d told me the story a few years prior and as he talked, the story and the people and their faces and their energy came together in my head.
“That was them?” I asked.
“That was them” he said.
He reminded me the trauma of that day still lingers. He was affected and he still is.
“Well let me ask you something,” I said. “How do you feel when you watch this and see them walking around, just being? You watch this now and then, right?”
“Okay. So there they are alive. And they’re talking and whatever. And when you see them, you know that doesn’t last. So does it bother you? How do you feel?”
“Well, when things like happen? They just happen. And I don’t think much. I think, this is the job. This is the job, man. And this kind of thing that happens when you do this job. As a matter of fact, when it doesn’t happen… when you manage to not be killed on one of these things, it’s usually because of some miracle. Or series of miracles, is more like it.”
“I see. And this is a job they wanted to do?”
“Exactly. Nobody is there who doesn’t want to be there. We all want to be soldiers and this is the kind of soldier we want to be. And everyone knows what can happen, going in. There are no illusions. Everybody knows they could be killed and if it happens, it probably won’t be pretty. It’s just the way it is. You’re there. And if you get overrun, then you get overrun and you are probaly going to be killed.”
“I see,” I said. “Well I’m going to have to think about this some more before I have anything else to say. I didn’t know those guys were dead and now I don’t know what to day.”
He has a Moon Neptune conjunction in Scorpio in the 8th house and Mars in aspect to Saturn.
How do you feel about this? Would this be a comfortable conversation for you, or no?