Day Zero

As always, I packed what I had… Not much… A little of this… A little of that… My toothbrush, and some socks. In other words, I packed lightly. While I packed I listened to my favorites playlist. A song called Ferry Man by the Darrell Webb Band came on. I again knew I would make it as I didn’t shiver… Ugh… Shiver means I’m dead this time… Soon maybe… Soon. I always carried two Toonies… One for each eye.. To pay the ferryman.

My dream was to step upon the golden shore… Canada… Winnipeg… The Jets… The Bombers. Both stunk… No, not really… We win when we win. I think it underrates winning, but lately its casualty counts… Probabilities… Casual Loss… Collateral Damage… Civilians like me dying. Civilian?!? A spy dying? HUH! More like going missing… AFK permanently… Yeah, Away From Keyboard… Lol… I thought that up all alone. Did I mention that in this business there is no funny business?

Frag Grenades… Yes. Claymore Mines… Yes. Strykers… Yes. Many more yeses… Many… Many more. I’ve been accounting for all the arms we’ve lent the allies… You know… The familial Taliban… Our friendly neighbourhood Warlords. The wrap-up was better than the warm-up… easier to take… Less maniacal laughing than hands, heads, and legs blown off by IEDs. Today I leave Kandahar Airfield, my nine-year home base. I’ve been here off and on for that long at least officially… Always here they say… Never leave… No, not a spy… An Arms Dealer partnered with a CIA spook… He MAY have really been dealing arms… I wasn’t… Really?

I gather intelligence… Bestow rewards… BIG REWARDS… Okay… Automatic Rifles and Frag Grenades. They kill not the soldiers… Not the clans… Not the Warlord led rebellions… Just the guns… It’s their custom. It is the gentlemanly way of avoiding blame for who killed who… Less harsh feelings after it’s over. Anyway, all unexpended and unused arms returned… CHECK. All accounted for… except the casualties… The dead.

They will haunt me as I knew some well enough to more than rank and position in the squad… They did security soirees with us. Ran escort while we hobnobbed with the local Warlords to feel them out for their woes… What do you think of Canada’s involvement in your conflict? I asked that more times than I did laundry… And I pack light. In fact, I think I used that phrase… A few times more than I brushed my teeth and I do that three times daily.

Day Zero had arrived…. I was leaving, my time here was over. I thought like in the ‘Nam movies I enjoyed… count backwards like in Platoon. Too long to think of when I got here… 3 years commitment… Times three in my case. I need your love… I.. I… I… I need your love… A new song came on by Meduza. Great… Dancing… Dining… My wife… My kid. He was three when I left… Now he’s twelve. I’ve known them via satellite link for on and off nine years… That’s the whole of his adolescence. Next he’ll be driving, but I’ll be there to teach him… At least I got that to look forward to… I bet he’s got a secret girlfriend and won’t tell mom… Lol.

I carried their pictures everywhere with me in my dust filled wallet… In my dist filled shoes when I couldn’t carry that… Under the soles. Against regulation, but they were there with me all throughout my time here. My kid knows I’m a spy and when I call home he called me Austin Powers… He loves the movies… His favorite character is Fat Bastard. He like the way he runs his mouth and backs it too. My wife, a Chardonnay girl, in white lingerie, eating chocolate covered strawberries from my fingers.

Snap out of it! You not on that commercial plane yet… This is the captain speaking… We will experience a little turbulence in a few and I’ve raised our altitude by six hundred feet to avoid the worst of it…. Yeah… Above the Atlantic. I know I’ll be okay… I know I’ll be okay… I know I’ll be okay… I hate flying. I was in a plane accident once… I had a broken arm and a screwed up knee for a while, but through rehab I got through… Good Occupational Therapist… Very motivating. It was in my Uncle’s crop duster… I do that during down times for the family… My wife’s family owns a vineyard in Ontario… They produce wine… Chardonnay.

My final flight would come in to Pierson International in Toronto… A commercial flight. My wife and son would be there… They would finally see me in the flesh… For real as my son said… Keep your stick on the ice. A saying he picked up from Canadian TV… What was that show… Red Something… Oh yeah, Red Green. Truly Canadian.. like the current song… Fully Completely… The Tragically Hip.

Fully Completely like my time here… My time in Kandahar and the hillside surrounding the airfield, buried in the candy land of Afghanistan. A place where many have perished… Where we as Canadians used to paint our clothes to blend in as Green Cammies where brought and worn to… Um… Stand out in a friendly manor. Time for that last exit… Last call for freedom… Freedom was won here for all… The whole Earth won, not just the Canadians.. Not just the Jihadis… The Sultans… The Emirs… The Princes… The Presidents… Their people…EVERYONE WON. The war is over and I’m gong home.

Published by Robert LT Jonasson

I have one novel being edited, 5 more flushed out, 56 short stories, and 530 poems. Please take the time to explore jonassonenigmaticnirvana.com and get to know me through my writing.

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