Monday, April 21, 2008

Nuclear Fallout Day

I awake with a start when my roommate, Mouth, taps me on the shoulder.

“It’s Nuclear Fallout Day,” she says.
Shuffling to the trailer that’s our neighborhood’s collective female bathroom, I see what she means. It’s going to be one of those dusty, hazy days. The dust doesn’t whip around and pelt you, they way you would expect, the way it did in Kuwait. Here, it just settles in thickly. My boss calls it “Dirt Fog.”

Mouth slips eye-drops into her pocket as we shut the door to begin our 20-minute walk.

By the time we make it to work, my front teeth are gritty. The mosque across the street seems like it has a curtain of dust hanging in front of it. Some people are walking around with surgical masks, balaclavas, or even t-shirts over their faces. Inside, I rejoice that a group care package has a few toothbrushes left.

We have it easy, working in a building most of the day. I feel for the folks who will be out in the dirt fog all day, like the ECP guards.

Late afternoon is deep orange, like in the movie Total Recall. It’s eerie and indescribable. The mosque is now completely obscured. Our faces and eyelashes are coated with a light layer of dirt. Several of us drive to the next FOB over and visibility is about 100 feet. The lakes, chalets, and the palace that define this FOB are invisible. Vehicles have their lights on.

Here's the mosque across the street on a normal day:

The mosque on the morning of Nuclear Fallout Day:Here's the same view of the mosque on the afternoon of Nuclear Fallout Day:And we all feel it, the trepidation.

IDF (indirect fire -- mortars & rockets)) usually comes on days like this.


Anonymous said...

It's good to see you blogging again - I read a lot written by Army ground-pounders, and you bring a completely different and informative perspective to things.
Keep up the great work!
USMA '62
RVN '67-'68

rejoice said...

Gritty Kitty, you have great blogs! It is always good to see your post. Pearl's mom.