Ophelia, my love,
I saw the bullet. I saw the glint of the muzzle, the flash of the charge. The soldier, some strange, scared boy…his shoulder. It kicked out in a way that surprised him. I saw it in his eyes. Twice, I saw it. The bullet traveled 239 metres before entering my gut. He didn’t yet know it, but I was his new personal distance record. My legs shot out beneath me, as had the rest of the world…I was cleaved in half, my torso flung skyward on a geyser of my blood. I had a funny thought as I died: this seems silly; is this right? When my vision went black, and my thoughts drifted away like mist in the night, I saw it all again. The numbers, the horrible numbers. The quantification of my death, tallied and scored. It was horrifying, absurd. In that moment (if I am still alive!), my sanity cracked in half, and I am left with its shards. Of this I am sure.
How, you ask? My love? My darling anchor? Because here I stand, on this dreadful beach, and before me are my squad - once dead! like me! - chattering and wandering, energized by something they feel, but I certainly do not. The sky drops payloads upon us as our bombardiers have on so many soldiers, now dead (I think? I thought?) yet none are scared. They are delighted! They run to the impact sites like children on Christmas! And what an apt comparison, for the payloads explode with glowing rarities! What madness is this?
I commit to fight again, for what choice do I have? My own bomb barrels down from Heaven, pitch black and pregnant with death. It bursts open, and I close my eyes, waiting for…I don’t know. It never comes. I open my eyes, and before me is a fluttering banner of a marihuana leaf. A nearby soldier tells me it’s worth $6.
I am crying, Ophelia, and I don’t know if it will stop.