Photo of Saddam bordered in Gold
While cleaning out ages long of dust and who else knows what kind of dirt, we came across a very rare specimen. A rather large portrait of a leader long acquainted to the world stage. Saddam Hussein, I don't think I'll dwell to long into the carnage he created or the insane stunts he pulled, but it shows that there is still a lot we don't know about the world.
So how do you pass your time in the desert? Day one, wake up at before noon, grab a shower at a rather far walk away to the shower Cadillac, and walk back to your room (get dirty again in the process). Upon arrival back to your Sleeping container, clean yourself again from the dirt you collected.
Change and get ready for work, walk in to work a few distance away from your sleeping container. Endure shift change with some annoying person that complains that they didn't get something in the mail or listen to someone bark at your cause something was missed the shift before, or perhaps note that yet again it's another day of no weather for miles, perhaps a dust storm brewing in the distance.
Shift change complete, kick out the previous shift out the door, grab some chow a while later. Dooly noting that the mess you get served in your to-go plate is the same greasy gunk you got served the week before that...and the week before that and the week before that one, repetition, almost too predictable. Some sort of chicken product or Salisbury steak, or Cornish hen, meatloaf or a hamburger.
Late night smoke.
You head back to your workplace carrying your predetermined selection of food, kill 30 mins munching on something that should resemble something edible and palatable. Get back to one later or a few days later...After settling down for a few hours into your daily routine. You come to notice the weather has remained unchanged for hours, how to spend your day away: Tease a co-worker 40mins of entertainment, study your local requirements 2hours of boredom, tease a co-worker again 30mins entertainment, be amused at emails 40mins, work on a weather brief 2hours, coordinate with a location that writes your forecast that is almost 6,000 miles away 2hour headache, be teased by a co-worker 10mins... grab dinner on a "to-go" box similarities of previously discussed repetitive menu kill another 30mins.
Eventually you manage to arouse the strength to watch some TV and continue to watch non-threatening weather 2hrs (come to find out that AFN eradicates any fun potential with rather poorly acted commercials, and badly hacked up movies) your chance to watch TV again goes out the drain. Take cover from a poorly aimed mortar hitting nothing but dirt in middle of somewhere (thankfully) kill 30 mins (that’s after conducting a UXO sweep). Muster some strength and conduct some localized improvement function that more than likely be changed by the next rotation (2hours gone). Before you know it your day at work is over, but you are still far from your goal of going home. You provide shift change for the on-coming shift, take the trash out and stumble home through "desert landscaping" again reach your sleeping container which is starting to look more and more like a jail cell each day and the housing compound is looking more and more like a cell block, you refer your housing section as X block or D block (depending on where you live).
Home Sweet Home!!!
Change out of one uniform into another uniform, your sense of self disappearing behind a mirror of uniformity, everyone dressed alike, minor differences one is wearing shorts and a shirt, the other a jacket with the shorts, or jacket and long pants, but uniform all the like. Rules, exercised to limit your sense of self, shirt tucked in and not out, reflective belt on or off, shoes vs. sandals; what difference does that make?
Dressing up at work
Each day you feel your mood sink to the floor, yet somehow you maintain your basis that you are there for a good cause, you continue to lie to yourself to the point that you believe the lie is actually the truth. You valiantly trudge the days on counting slowly towards that eventual freedom of being able to do what you please.
You stumble out to follow the masses packing for a quick run around the compound though you felt alone you aren't, there are people following your example or are you following their example? Again what difference does it make? You kill two or one lap around the compound, hang your pride at the door and grab another shower, catch a quick movie on your laptop; or maybe I'll read that book I've been meaning to read for the last few days. Nah, I think I'll turn in for the night, just to repeat the same process again the next day and the day after that one, and after that one...for the next 124 days; your life has become predictable and simple. You have surrendered yourself to a higher cause or so you lie to yourself as you fall asleep, wondering what tomorrow is going to be like.
You gently dream of a far away fantasy or some lost friend visits you in your dream forewarns you of impending danger, you mildly hear the klaxon go off and your fall to the floor, another mortar attack poorly aimed at nowhere, you pass out waking up in the morning on the floor wondering how you ended up there in the first place....darn these tired bones time to move and repeat the process again.