…from the trenches.


So I found my old Six Sentences blog entries. I’m kind of proud of some of these and it is very apparent that I need to be writing/reading more. My brain misses it.

December 9, 2008
…from the trenches”

Each day rolls on to the next in a never-ceasing string of daylight and darkness, wearing my mind thin-to-the-bone, keeping my nerves in a constantly unraveling state. Sleep comes at a heavy price these days, my dreams filled with images of death and destruction.

To the east I see them bombing Dresden, only 50 miles or so from where I crouch in my trench filled with putrid water and piss and blood. The rats scurry around under my feet, looking for scraps of food which we fight them for, no matter how old or moldy.

Swanson’s helmet sits beside me; he doesn’t even bother to wear it now, the feeling of the cold February wind in his hair and the freedom it brings to his soul seeming much more important than the miniscule protection it provides. “Goddam, Peterson,” he answered the first time I asked him why he didn’t wear the Government-sanctioned means of protection.

“What-the-hell-good is a piece-of-shit metal helmet when they can blow my fucking body in half just like that?”

Touché. He was always good at swearing his way to a perfectly made point.

I light up a slightly crumpled cigarette and inhale slowly, thinking back to my home in Virginia, to my dear mother and my little brother, Scott, to whom I promised a sketchbook full of my travels with the US Army. I gave up rendering lovely European landscapes long ago, when I realized at the tender age of eighteen that my intended life as an artist would be put on infinite hold should I let my pencil and my imagination hold my attention longer than necessary.

Besides, the only landscapes I had seen since arriving in Germany were desolate and lonely compared to the imagined scenes of my youthful romanticism. I will not draw and I will not write…I will, instead, catalogue my journeys in my mind, relating the details in the event of my return.

I will not, however, tell them about the rats.


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