Water Pour

“The objective is to see all your troubles with a kind of Zen-like detachment.”

Was I hearing voices, or having a dream I was hearing voices? I woke to catch a glimpse of my team leader placing buckets and bins under the leaks. I pretended not to see him and went back to sleep.  I got up when my alarm went off, and found that a leak in the roof was pouring rain straight onto the open pages of The Electrifying Conclusion, and splashing onto my laptop. I pulled the notebook out of the rain and set down my one and only bowl for food to catch the drip.

It’s been raining since my second night at Blessing, raining on the way back to COP Michigan, and hasn’t stopped since I’ve been back.  The first night it started to leak, and we put buckets under it.  In the morning, it had let up, and we mopped up all the water, but last night it just came back. One of the few times in my life when I actually wish it would stop raining.

When I first got to Charlie Company we had a week-long field exercise. A week spent huddled under a taut poncho with Baggenstoss, the rain splashing the mud up onto us, while I carved a new handle for ‘Stoss’s knife. He was my FO partner, back when I had one. Now it feels like that again.

The leaks get worse and just pour through the roof. Hamilton gets the terp Sayeed to rally up some of the local workers, and they hang a giant sheet of clear plastic from the ceiling to catch the water and divert it out the door. When I walked in the door and saw it set up, tacked to the roof beams with binder clips, I told my team leader, “This is way too stupid an idea to work this well.”

So then the rain fell onto the sandbags, worked its way down to the roof, through a leak, and tapped on the surface of the plastic sheet. The leaks were so bad by then that it sounded like we had just set up a tarp outside. And outside is all mud, and the clouds linger on the sides of the mountains, in a beautiful way. What I liked about her was that she could appreciate things like that. But now even I don’t want to anymore.

Just before dark we took incoming. Only a few rounds, and not very close. The machine guns in the towers opened up fire. This place is miserable, but……still, I don’t want to go home.

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