Highway to Hell (Slight Return)

“Let them know its Christmas time..”
And they did!

Time: 7:35 am approx.

Me, carpooling to college with a friend, in his car (riding shotgun) running on Baghdad’s main highway, going from A’adhamiyah to Jadiryah (where college is) , everything smooth as can be.. we come to an intersection, my friend asked: “leave the highway and turn right into the streets of Karrada, or head on straight to Dora?”
Me, being older, and hence automatically (and incorrectly) deemed wiser, suggested the longer but less-congested Dora Highway extension..

Time: 7:40 am approx.

IP (Iraqi Police) Check-Point.. Jam.
Heck. I should have told him to turn right..

Time: 7:45 am approx.

Situation: 3rd IP checkpoint, just in front of two M1 Abrams tanks parked on both sides of the road.. Jam is a bit less..
Oh well.. hey, why is he stuck driving behind that bus?
There was a mini-bus in front of us, driving as if he was enjoying the scenery, and my friend was behind him, crawling along while other cars whizzed by..
The bus suddenly picked up speed, “thank God” I said.

Then I saw it. Just a slight movement, a flash then a column of black smoke rise vertically 10 meters out the turret of the tank to the right, less than 50 meters in front of us, “What the?..”
Then the shockwave hit, and with it came the boom and a bigger smoke cloud!
They hit it with a car bomb!
The car two down from us was a CAR-BOMB!

Our car rocked, and I felt something hit me square on the chest.. thank heavens that in spite of the cold, we had both our windows open…

I instantly started grabbing for myself, using both hands, trying to verify everything was where it is supposed to be.. all organs and senses intact.. thank God.. ah..
I start yelling to the guy “Move move move!”
He’s already turning the car 180 and backing up the way we came, wrong side and all.. we pass by the Checkpoint, and turn left into the first street we saw.. thankfully, all roads lead to college.

It was the bus that saved us..
If he hadn’t snailed on by… I gotta go pray thanks..
I didn’t even look back, I guess the cars in front of us got it good. And where it hurt too.
Poor souls.

“and may you hate something, and it is good for you”
Blessed be the Lord.

Time: 10:30 am

College… sitting in the college center near the cafeteria, there’s familiar noise creeping closer.. its another chopper.. ah.
This one is an Apache, not one of ur usual run-of-the-mill medical-transport blackhawks, noooo, a battle-ready apache, coming in so low, about tree-top level, from the west, going towards the Green Zone..
As it got so close, it let out two bursts of two thermal flares!
Just above the Science Building!
Now I’m no expert, but I’ve seen my share of video games and war-movies (AND illumination flares, before, during and after “Mission Accomplished”) to know that these are thermal flares, and thermal flares are usually deployed when ur being targeted by a heat-seeker! Stinger?

“Haul A$$! See ya later!”
I look at two of my friends who knew what was happening, or gonna happen, but we’re frozen, can’t move!
If I want to die, I sure as hell wouldn’t like to by a loose rocket! Nooo!
The one that’s getting me HAS to have MY name on it, yes sir!

1 second, we all close our eyes, in anticipation..
5 seconds, We and look around, wondering why college was still standing around us..
10 seconds, nothing happened.
10 seconds later, still nothing happened.
The frig in that flying frig must have had a malfunction, or did it as a bad joke..

Oh well… just another day in Iraq.

By 2 pm, two more bigger booms, and a dozen more choppers (blackhawks this time) whirr on by, I return home, an un-eventful journey this time (thank God) and sit here in front of my monitor, drinking my mug of tea and writing this.. there are a few shots outside, something is going on...ah, frig it all.

Well, so much for my wish of a white Christmas.. White doesn’t have to be snow, it can just be LACK OF BLOOD, or ANY body fluids for that matter..

Life here aint Easy or Free, as the Young Brothers would sing, but still..
It is Life, as opposed to Death.

Gotta go pray.

Happy Holidays!

(oh and, FESTIVUS is REAL??)

Listening to:
Gary Jules – Mad World
Black Label Society – The Blessed HellRide
The Prodigy – Narayan

Disclaimer note:
this has nothing to do with my HighwayToHell post of early this year.. -just a cheap trick to get u to visit that stupid post! Ho Ho Ho!-

oh and People, DO NOT WORRY! I AM FINE!
I CAN WALK AND TALK (and perform all other previous functions as well ;P)
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