It was probably June 14, two days after my four friends were killed. We decided to hold a funeral for them in the college, I remember being a cold sense of detachment from the world and everything in it...I quickly dressed in ALL OUT BLACK. Black shirt, black pants.
Looking at myself in the mirror, I realized the danger in my uniform, so I opened the buttons of the shirt, reavealing an olive vest underneath! cool, now not only I am in the Mahdir's Army, but also a member of the army.
I whatthefucked and hurled ass out, after all, I was just going to go up the street and rent a taxi...
I told you earlier, I was so detached, however, as soon as I walked to the tip of the street, I changed my mind, and decided to return home.
Tough luck. Three dudes about my age in small motorbikes (lovingly called Bestas in iraq) came lazily behind me, passed me a little bit, then barricaded me.
The guy who was directly at my center was dark of tan and ugly of teeth, he was obviously the leader, his teeth stuck out, Ronaldinho-style. He calmly said :
I replied, calmly too : 'Aalkumsallum'
'What are you doing here?'
'I am returning home.'
'Where is your home?'
'Near the mosque'
The mosque was small and had two name changes, I took a wild bet and after a moment of hesitation I spoke the latter.
He paused for a moment, and then:
''Hop on, let me drive you home'
I was a little panicked now.
'Wait a minute, this is my area, right here is house of Mr. A'
He didn't answer
'I am going to a funeral ; I was just going to pick up a taxi'
It was certain they all carried guns underneath their casual clothes. It is also of no coincidence that they chose to do this here, the place was adjacent to an abadonened farm, where bodies are regularly found, our street witnessed about 10 deaths in the very same area. Even if he bought I was of the area, he could kill me if he thought I was a Shi'ite.
'Show me your wallet'
I showed him, my attitude was a smily nice dude.
'Here's my wallet, and ID'
My first name is neutral, but my second is somewhat more of a Sunni name, although Shiites do name it every now and then. It was not proof enough in my opinion.
The only ID i regularly carry is not my Civil ID, it is my college ID.
The second guy asked, he was more of a wiseguy:
'What's this ID?'
'It's my college ID, university of [Cornyname]'
'[CORNYNAME]', he was enjoying this. but the first guy nodded in approval with me
he looked through the wallet, took out the money, looked in the sidepocket where I keep my keys, asked of my other pocket, I showed him my mobile.
'Okay, you're free to go' He returned the wallet, and the money. My impression of him was somewhat positive.
They could still shoot me when I turn my back, but there was a certain change of pace that I recognized that they really are going to let me go.
Ronaldino said, as an aftertaste: 'You're wearing black...'
I quickly said, arms out 'You really think I am THAT stupid if I was of them sonovabicthes?'
'At least you could look more neat'
This was true, my shirt was open and my hair was unshaved, I could pass a decent slipper-torn Madhi's servant anywhere. In a sense, they had a right to stop me, precautions matter, I could only be thankful that the dudes who stopped me had some time to think it over.
'Well, the guys were killed yesterday and I am pissed'
'How?' The wiseguy asked, the third guy was just compars.
'That's terrorists work' but the side-cracking smile on his face strongly added another dimension to his sentence.
On thinking it over, I think subconsciously that day, I wanted to die. I was so filled with meaninglessness that day I just wanted it all to end, I couldn't imagine that a living person I talked to just the other day could just vanish....
I returned home, and some of the ominous dirge of the past 10 minutes caught up with me, I murmured in quick prayers, but in an hour or two I managed to forget about it.
I arrived in college, attended the symbolic funeral and was about to return home when a few friends took me aside and told me not to wear that shirt I am wearing right now again.
'Are you crazy? How could you dare to wear a blue shirt, that's the sign of the FPS police, they could kill you second.'
Shit? You bet your fucking ass!
They didn't understand why I was laughing, you can't dress black, can't dress blue, can't even dress the collegeboy's white after the recent killings....well, that's Iraq for you.
I apologize, I haven't told you about my friends' murder, I have no energy to discuss it again! even if I wanted to, I wrote it twice, and one of them was for the NYT, so I can't publish it.
Maybe I could work it out sometime, but not now.