My heart is breaking! I’m greeted this morning, as I step
out of my camper parked for the nite in the rest area just west of Las Cruces
into what used to be a beautiful, breath-taking view of the tiny city down
below and the entire mesa that is now blanketed with thick gray smog and
stretches as far as this hilltop vantage point reveals, I’m greeted by a beautiful young
womon, black pony tail bouncing, in a tie-dye t-shirt and khaki shorts with a broad smile hurrying over to greet me and bashfully ask if she can facebook
pictures of my truck.
Of course she can. We begin talking, her gushing over my
truck and expressing her admiration for me and my messages. She asks me where I’m
coming from and I find out she’s coming from Iowa – Marion, IA to be exact.
And where is she going to? She shyly looks down and tells
me she’s in the military, headed to Texas. I’m devastated, telling her oh no, quit.
This child is sooooooo brainwashed. She tells me I don’t
know but lots of people in the military agree with what I’ve written on my
truck. What, DISARM the MILITARY???? She probably hasn’t seen that one.
She tells me the military has given her purpose – I say,
yes to learn how to kill people. She smiles ruefully in admission but says she really wants to help people. She
says it is the purpose of the military to protect the people of this country and to help people around the world.
I look at her with what I hope is a searching searing
look. What? Help us how? I tell her she is going to be the ones sent out to
kill and imprison people like me who are protesting. She shakes her head
vigorously, visibly shocked, proclaiming that has never happened and won’t happen.
When I talk about Jackson State and Kent State, she tells
me oh, that was such a long time ago…I tell her she is missing what is happening in
the country right now – and she’s on the wrong side of the revolution, she’s on
the side of our corporations.
She protests, telling me the military has given her a lot. I ask her
to explain what has the military given her exactly, beside the skill to kill
another human being. She again acknowledges that gain and adds proudly that she now is fluent
Arafuckinbic. I say oh so you can translate terrorist’s
secrets as they’re screaming while being tortured. She giggles and says, ‘oh we
don’t torture anymore’… REALLY????
Then she repeated again she can help people by
translating and letting her fellow soldiers know they’re innocent. I say innocent of what? What if they
want the military invaders – you – to leave their home? She says oh, we’re not
allowed to kill - or torture - random people.
When I point out that we bombed Yemen yesterday killing
150 womyn, children and men, she looks sad and says she knows and that it is
the fault of Saudi Arabia…
Genesis is her name. My dialogue with her is sprinkled
with my urging her to resign the military, to not allow her being to be so brainwashed
and poisoned by military doctrine. To touch that part of her - that female and brown part - that knows the
truth and can see the truth about the military machine.
She said she had no direction before the military gave
her direction. I asked her what did she want to do with her life when she was 6
or 7? She immediately said she wanted to be a writer, a cartoonist really,
dismissing the idea as ridiculous. I encourage her to revisit that, I tell her
she would probably be a great cartoonist and there are a million ways – or at
least 20 – to learn Arabic.
She is not a white womon, light brown, probably Hispanic I’m
thinking. She confirms she’s from the Dominican Republic. I see her life now, a
little miniscule brown spanish-speaking speck in Marion Iowa.
I talk more about how the military has been used – and is
still being used – to shore up dictators, as Trujillo from her home, to conquer and enslave
the people of her island, to divide the land mass.
She smiles pityingly but then says I’ve given her lots to
think about. I ask her if she's read "In the Tiime of the Butterflies" about the Mirabel sisters. She has not heard of them nor of the book - Julia Alverez, the name comes to me as if I just read it yesterday.
I ask her if she’s registered to vote, which she is. Then I take
the plunge and ask her if she’s voting for Trump.
She says, “Oh god no” and we hug.