VICTOR: I was back in the place I never wanted to be… Vietnam. The American government was like an evil octopus with tentacles that stretched and pulled you into serving their agenda,and kicking and screaming, you had to get sucked in. I was waiting outside the thatch hut that served as a military office when the hulky,crew cut Major stomped outside.
Major; Smith! Report to the office now
Vic; Yes Sir!
Major; We’re shifting base. We’re moving into a free to fire zone. So you’re going to be moved up from the office into the field….what are you waiting for? Go pack up, your training begins tomorrow
Vic; Err Sir…what’s a free to fire zone?
Major; It means we’ve been given orders to kill and bomb everything in sight.Everything that stands and everything that moves moron
Nabi SAW is reported to have said; Allah the merciful shows mercy upon the merciful people. So have mercy upon those on the earth, so that the one in the heaven has mercy on you (Abu Dawud)
Vic; But Sir…everyone? Even civilians? Even …even kids?
Major; I just explained what a free to fire zone is, are you dumb or something? We rather destroy them here before they grow up and come to destroy America.
Vic; This was the nonsense that they fed the masses and still feed them to justify their attacks on any country. After I left the room he called a mysterious guy that didn’t interact with us but was part of the army.
Major; Goldberg, I want you to sort out young Victor Smith. Seems to be a problem like his brother. Get the pills out….
And that was how they messed with my mind like thousands of young Americans during the 70’s as well as later times in all the countries they invaded; Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan…
Vic; John? What are you doing here? I thought they killed you?
John; I’m alive… if you want to stay alive… you must listen to them Victor…listen to them. Slit the throats of the enemy or they will slit yours…
Vic; John! What are you saying!
John; Listen to me little brother…and you will be saved (laughs manically)come closer
Vic; What are you doing to me!!! don’t…do…that…please
Jen; Victor! Wake up! Leave my hand alone, you’re going to break it! Wake up!
Vic; where am I …? Oh Jennifer… I was dreaming of that time when…
Jen; I know I know, you were back in Vietnam. One of these days you’re going to kill me when you’re having those nightmares, the way you lash out. Here’s your tablet
Vic; I’m not taking it. I’m not mad you know, stop treating me like that. I’ll just go see Carl…nothing calms me down like my son
Vic; After the war ended, I returned home and married Jennifer. The nightmares still followed me like a dark shadow with its hands outstretched threatening to choke out my sanity forever. Until Carl was born a few years later…when I held my son…it was as if the sun had risen on my horizon again.
Vic; I entered the nusery, switching on the light and Carl turned his cherubic face to me, lighting up my heart like a thousand lamp… “Oh you awake my poppit, come here. Hmmm nothing beats this. I will never let anyone or anything harm you ever. Oh no! You need a nappy change.”
“Are you going to do it?” Jen said appearing in the doorway with a wary face.
Vic; of course… You know Jen, we should take him for a check up… so many guys who were in Vietnam, their kids are being born with the same diseases… I pray every day Carl doesn’t have it. The worst part is the government is denying that they are responsible for it, there you are my baby all clean
Jen; I doubt he has anything wrong with him. Don’t hold him for so long, he gets crabby when you not around to pick him up all the time.
Vic; Why was she so moody and snappy when it came to Carl?
Aslam; Here here pick it up you aloo! Not like that you break it, right all of you remember that when we go to the supermarket, we must act like we don’t know each other, the special is 5 bottles of oil per customer and you get the discount, so everyone take 5 and don’t all go pay same time or they get suspended
“Suspicious Chacha,not suspended.” Aslam’s nephew replied in earnestness.
Aslam; You keep silent don’t back reply me ladoo, go see who came to trouble me when I am so busy yaar, I got no time to even to do breathe.
“Chacha, There is someone called Umair who wants to meet you.”
Aslam; Umair? Which Umair…
Umair; Maaf, they already let me in Aslam Jan, We meet after years…