kabultrout

Kilgore Trout is an ill-famed science fiction author. He is currently living in Kabul, Afghanistan, amidst Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors and Marines. Here he would like to show you what he sees during his visit.

Free Written

I felt like writing something today, but to be quite honest, nothing interesting seems to be happening today. Or in the past few days.

Things are slowing quickly. With just a handful of time left to spend here, replacements showing up, and the workload lessening, we just don’t seem so occupied with much of anything anymore.

Time is funny to talk about. The concept goes over my head in this environment. The deployment environment.

For you: days can be an hour by hour affair, a day by day affair.

For me: Time is. I don’t know what time is. Do you know what time is?

Each day doesn’t feel like a day, it feels more like part of a day that never ends. My commanding officer described it perfectly: “I feel like I’m in Groundhog Day (referring to the movie),” he said, “Every day I go to the office, then to the DFAC, then I go to my hooch, then the PX, then the office, then the DFAC… etc.”

With so little space and limited activities at our disposal, the month long stretch feels more like no time at all. Not that time is going by fast, but more like there is no such thing. It no longer exists. Nothing progresses and there is no past, because there is no change.

The only change I actually see that connects me with the rest of the world, shows me time is still thriving beyond the walls of Camp Phoenix, is a sad reality. Because the only thing here that signifies progress, that signifies change, is death.

I would be happy never going to a funeral as long as I live once I leave here.

At home, death is like the dark corners of your house. You never pay too much attention to them.

Here, death is like the bottom step you always forget about as you descend on the stairs. Once you reach the bottom, that step reminds you of its existence. But somehow you will forget about it the next time you descend. And it will remind you again.

Do not let this lead you to believe I am extremely grief stricken and in a sad state of affairs. Personally I am quite well. It is simply war in general that saddens me.

I’m closer to war than I have ever been before, and the only thing different about me being here rather than home viewing war through the skewed window of television: death. Not numbers and year-to-date totals, but personal, one at a time, face after face death.

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