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Archive for May, 2008

There is no paper here, I leave the echoes of my wounds to be whipped by showers of sand. If I could speak to you I’d tell you that I loved you. Make sure Martina knew her father was a good man. That he loved her dearly.

I’d trace it in sand.

No one would find it, no one could salvage messages washed over by time and grit.

But if I could, I’d confess that I love you.
And that I was right to leave you, right to put myself here at least and right to put bullets in people who shot bullets at me.

I may be dead now. But I wouldn’t ever be abandoned.
I may be slung over someone’s shoulder, lifeless. Someone I call brother through spat words and bloodied knuckles who carries me back lifeless and remembers sending me home in my box, always. But not abandoned,

never abandoned.

And then home.

A hero’s welcome won’t be there for me, it was just me, no-one else there. Another number.

Regret’s not there and I can’t tell you why not, another squaddie, pissed up and spouting shit to any whiff of skirt that dares to saunter past me in the pub.

Pissed off and back under rubble.

Pissed off.

Doing the job.

Doing the job that the rest of the world couldn’t understand the reality of, too quick to judge the options of,

A soldier,

In an invasion.

Another soldier,

Dying.

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A girl transferred to our class from the Catholic school that only had 30 students and was on the verge of closing down. The teacher brought her up in front of the class first thing in the morning so she could introduce herself. She wore a weirdly straight skirt that stopped halfway down her shin, and long white socks rolled right down to the top of her shoes, forming thick tubes around her ankles. She had her hair tied back like a golden rope that went all the way down her spine, it sassed about like a tail when she walked. Me, 8 years old and introduced to the motivation of men.

The teacher sat her opposite me.

The rest of the week my mind was not my own, from hyperactive to distracted to introverted, I was possessed. I’d learnt from pre-watershed TV that legs were an important part of a woman. I’d also learnt about reconnaissance and on Friday I decided to put this knowledge into practice. I deftly knocked my pencil underneath the table, nearer to her side than mine. A perfect shot. I crawled beneath to retrieve it and get a sly look at her legs. My jaw fell out of my mouth witnessing the thick strands of dark hair that covered her pins. She had more hair than me, and a hell of a lot more than the women on TV. I felt a little sick.

I didn‘t think about girls again until puberty hit.

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