Reporter’s Journal – OEF

First Story – Business Insider/War Report


“The General and Winning the War in Helmand” is the first story I’ve written since being here. It took me about two weeks to write, due to exhaustive research into the private side of the conflict, but I think in the end it came out pretty good. Once I’ve exhausted any venue willing to publish, [...]

Weeks 2 and 3 – Damn

Forward Logistics Element replacements put boots on the ground

No photo here. Not yet. Not ready yet. I know my last post was a bit angry. Stuff comes flooding back sometimes and it’s simultaneously so beautiful and so full of sorrow, and a deep longing for something better, that I can’t help but be frustrated/mournful that other people can’t feel it like I do, [...]

April 10 — Intermission — To the easily offended, a commentary: Masturbation and other bodily fluids


I do hate explaining, justifying, but I talk about it a lot. I understand. Maybe there should be explanation. I understand this too. A great man once said, “No one ever accused me of having class.” Crass, though I can be, there is a reason, purpose, there is a method, as they say, behind my [...]

April 1 – 9 — (Amoebic) Week 1 — Blurry – Getting Detained


Strange. I know I haven’t written for a while. I guess there’s a reason for that. Call it gear-grinding paralysis, or fear. Fear of boredom, of failure, of long miles consisting mostly of walking back and forth between an Afghan National Army brigade Command Operations Center and the contractor-built barracks room I live in. That’s [...]

March 28, 29, 30, and 31 — Day 8-11 — A Lazy List — The General and torching ants

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March 28 – I go visit the Hill People – they are not retarded, inbred hill people who hunt college kids during spring break. They are Afghans who live in the slums lining the steep mountains that border Kabul. – I have never seen poverty like this. But at least they have a good view [...]

March 27 — Day 7 — I get hit by a rock in the end

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I’m surrounded by street children. I guess I should have expected the attention. Asians, Spanish people, even black people get less attention here. Plus, not only am I super white and quite overtly American, but I have lots of expensive doohickeys. It’s the prospect of dollar bill handouts and sheer curiosity that act as a [...]

March 26 — Day 6 — Don’t eat the fish

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You know the sound that sucking dentist tool makes when they stuff it into your slack, bleedy, drooling, post-op face and make you close your mouth? You know, that sound like pressurized gas flowing around somewhat chunky organic goo? That’s the sound my asshole is making. Like eskimos have for snow, I have many names [...]

March 25 — Day 5 — Kabul and the cute little ticketing lady

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My eyes are a solid, brick, red. My mood: much worse. And it gets worse when I get to the airport. First I scrape myself out of bed and try to remember my name. Fully clothed, CNN on the TV, on top of the covers, I wake up, just, luckily, with enough time to catch [...]

March 24 — Day 4 — Dubai and the Dominatrix Tiger


Tiger Lady: “2 Chivas Legal 2 Brack Rabel 2 Led Rabel 3 Small Water 1 Kit Kat 3 Pepsi 1 Mis Nuts 2 Heineken 2 Led Bull.” “Guilty as charged,” I say, trying to maintain bearing. I’m thinking: Was that necessary? What did you expect me to say? Yes, that’s correct, lady, and thanks for [...]

March 22 and 23 — Days 2, 3 — Dubai Hilarity – The terrified little emirate


The little Emirate behind the Dell computer seems a bit taken aback. “So who’s paying for my hotel?” Again, he repeats the crap off the brochure he’s holding, “Just contact this number, Sir, and the baggage will be delivered to your hotel.” Am I talking to a telephone recording, or a real, actual human? I [...]

March 21 — Day 1 — Lift Off – “Free Market” Speculation


Spacerays. Fucking spacerays. They pierce through many layers of defense. Through bulletproof plastic. Through the air. Through my sunglasses and my eyelids, glaring not even the remotest color pink, like normal, but a bright bright white. Spacerays, much like truth, fucking pierce. The dickface next to me is checking out the window, again. The entire [...]

March 20, 2012 — T: -1 Days – Booklist, Thoughts, Yeah


I don’t know what to tell you. I don’t know what to say. I mean I do but you probably wouldn’t understand. You’d ask that question that’s impossible to answer that all toddlers love to ask over and over and over. God doesn’t even know the answer. Just because. Some people just end up doing [...]

Mar. 19, ’12 — T: -2 days – Fixers, cops, highspeed AV and goddamn bgans


So it turns out I won’t need to stab anyone … yet … My knife is disappointed. Even more disappointed I bet is Bear Grylls, the guy who designed my knife. You don’t design things so they go unused. The knife starts fires too, but the people who own the guest house I’m living in [...]

March 18, 2012 — T: -3 Days – Going Mental


I don’t know what it is. Call it paralysis. In the last two weeks running up to this embed I’ve been a combination of things. Started off a bit lethargic, slow almost to the point of denial. Mind: A fortress of solitude. Body, stance: stoic. Awake for a week, time dripping, melting toward Dawn. It [...]