9/29/2004

Part 2: A longer block

I've decided to write out the columbia trip in the form of a small book. So it will take a while, but when I post it, it will be long.

9/24/2004

The price of precaution (part 1)

I walked into the small columbian village, small dirty houses, children peering out of windows, men sitting at the front of their homes, doing nothing. The women shuffled about, and everybody seemed to be very busy at being idle.

The faces of the people were open, there was none of the hardness I had seen in new york. The people suffered here differently, they suffered with innocence, they kept their eyes open as they were tortured, and afterwards, they felt anger and hate, but they did not become bitter. Their eyes did not stop smiling, their faces might have worn out, but they did not collapse into bitter despair.

We walked in slowly, dust raised by our tramping boots. The people looked at us, interested, afraid, but they looked at us without curiousity, and without fear. The sun was bright, but shone in a disinterested manner, the wind was weak, and tugged through without caring for the people. It was a different place, a place where people noticed our faces but not our guns.

My face would have smiled, but it did not. Laughter had become difficult, my smile, when it did come, was strange.

Things were falling apart everywhere, I did not trust anyone, and I felt at the mercy of other people, people I was not sure I really knew. Left and right, walking with me were men with guns, men with beards that masked their faces, lenses the hid their eyes, heavy boots that pounded the floor, minds that had been trained to kill. I did not know them, but I knew they were dangerous.

In the end, I'm not a mercenary. I'm a doctor, I'm an analyst, I'm a technical operator. I push buttons, I handle radios, I ask questions. But this time, I was a soldier like every other of the men, expendible, deletable, if I were killed, none of this strangers would mourn.

I questioned how many of them actually knew what my name was. They had told me their names, but I had mostly forgotten. And I did not really care, I had been alone in the concrete jungle too long.

In the real jungle, I had been alone, but never isolated. In New York, there had been people, people everywhere, but not a soul to speak to. And now that I had left, I had no wish to speak with them any longer. I felt as if I had left society for a bit, and I had been able to observe it from that park bench, and I had not only looked this time, but I had actually seen.

And what I had seen was indescribable, but unforgetable. I had seen the dishumanity of the human, I had seen how unworthy they all were. I had seen them naked, seen their souls, and I had hated them.

Their disregard for me had made me hate them, and it was easy for me to not speak to those men. As it would be easy for me to kill them.

9/23/2004

Johnny was

Woman hold her head and cry
Cos her son had been shot down in the street and die
from a stray bullet.

A month ago, I sat on a bench in the middle of New York, people walking by me. They walked in slow motion, I look at their shoes moving by, some dull, some shining, some brown, some white. Military boots, sneakers, high heeled shoes of ladies, ugly torn shoes with gaping mouths, other shoes small and cute.

How can you be sitting there, telling me that you care.
When everytime I look around, the people suffer in the suffering,
In every way.


I was my character. I could probably had more money than many of those people would ever earn in their entire lives, yet I felt their disdain for me. The clothes I wore were making me into the person I looked like, I started to find it hard to look people in their eyes. I started to hate them, and the more I hated them, the more I was irrelevant to them. But my hate mixed with fear of them, fear that maybe they were actually that much better than I was, fear that all I had ever been capable of was my current wretchedness.

I felt defiance surge through me, and jerked myself up, about to scream out to the owner of those shoes, that I was worth as much as they were. And there was a man standing before me.

He was dark, wore a dark suit, and a pair of elegant shoes. He stretched out his hand to shake mine, and I grabbed his clean hand with my grubby hands. I sat back down, and he sat down beside me. He spoke.

"Johnny, you know we are having a lot of problems back home at the moment. A lot of the fellows are under investigation, and men are behind bars. Strings are being pulled, but the press is not making things easy for any of us. It is impossible for you to come back for a while, if anyone were to discover who or where you were, it would make our case a lot more difficult. You have been in direct contact with Jacob and the rest. Johnny, you are a direct link between our boys and real violent activity. We need you out of the way for a bit, and as it happens, we can offer you a job. Johnny, we'd like you to do something for us in columbia, in exchange, we will get you out of this situation, and work towards clearing your name from the files."

He continued, and told me about what I was to do in columbia. Then he gave me information on a group that would help me leave to Cuba.

Three days later, I was in Cuba, having ridden on coastguard boats for a bit, and finishing the trip on an engine fitted small fishing boat. I received a cuban passport, and proceeded to make my way into Columbia.

There, I received a pseudo-uniform, and heavy army boots. I sat up for 3 hours polishing those boots, and when I stepped out into the streets, I gave 10$ to the first begger I saw. It was a 19 year old boy, sitting by the side of the road and staring at the shoes of the people passing by.