A heart attack. A humvee. A string tied to a trigger. An improvised explosive device.
A bus ride.
Take a plane into a warzone and drop like a ball onto a roulette wheel. As it spins, you will acclimate to its revolutions. The acclimation will take so well that the spinning stops altogether though it never really does. The feeling gets lost around about the same time the food looses its flavor.
A bus ride.
Bounce-Bounce over a suicide.
Rolling and rolling over the numberless days of boredom—another bounce.
A bus ride.
Is the wheel speeding up or are you going so slow that your mind is compensating by compressing time though the smaller neural spaces like high pressure. A thumb somewhere in there presses on a nozzle and seconds spray high speed.
That day, the ball landed on a bus ride.
The unit was a small National Guard component from Colorado and they were being bussed from one camp to another where they were to board a plane headed into Iraq. The plane was to deliver more soldiers to yet another wheel.
Third Country Nationals (TCN’s) are a huge labor force in Kuwait. They hail from far off and close enough to provide a cheap workforce to one of the world’s oil-richest nations. They make little in wages but when compared to the trifles of Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Egypt the distance means little next to the care what little compensation provides their families.
TCN’s do excellent work whenever shit is involved. If someone finger-brushed Fuck The Army with fecal paints of many different colors, a TCN will be there to make it so that shit graffiti never happened at all.
TCN’s are great with other people’s shit.
A TCN drove that day. He took to the road with a heavy foot. The turn before the camp is a sharpened elbow of pavement and he took it with a heavy foot.
There was a swerve and a thunderous pop as the bus skid and skipped the bend. The huge vehicle fell to its side, the windows popped and the soldiers inside became people falling on top of each other screaming. A young man fell through the broken window on the bus’s first bounce. The bus fell back on the soldier on the second and third bounce and dragged him the rest of the way. As the road whipped by like a belt sander at the opened windows, people piled on and drove those at the bottom grinding into the grating path. Flack and Kevlar protected many at the bottom from scraping, serious injury.
When my team and I reported as emergency personnel, I saw pieces of the wheel and I knew that I was still on it. Spinning.