It came to me again at 4am today, that is. It actually wasn’t by a stroke of genius, but this PTSD (Post traumatic stress syndrome) business is a nuisance. I am grateful for a new day all in all. I decided to go on Facebook. I am not very active on Facebook, but it helps me bring my past together, I have some friends I can only take in small doses, I have those which all I have to do is go down their walls, I don’t have to ask what is happening in their lives. So pretty much primary school friends, secondary school ones, university ones, middle east period ones etc. You get my drift, I have many facets to my friendships, and Facebook helps me keep track of everyone.
I noticed my friend David had posted a lot in the last week or so. The last time David and I had a phone conversation was a little over a year ago. We both used to work at USMI Baghdad, and we met because we were manifested to leave the green zone together on the Rhino (night bus) through Route Irish ( the most dangerous stretch of road at the time in Baghdad). This is a Rhino, its a bus that can withstand different types of explosives, they are quite popular in Israel and are rumored to cost about half a million dollars each and are extremely uncomfortable on the inside.
This was late 2006 or so. In the worst of situations we tend to be friendly towards others. We got talking, the typical American where are you from etc. We were both East Coasters, he was a sous chef. If you know anything about me, the love of food is my downfall, I make friends easily with people over food, especially if you can cook all the different kinds of food. He was a Sous Chef in charge of the main Embassy Sandwich Bar. Yes they had a separate entire section where you could combine bread and meats to form about 30 different sandwiches.
He told me about how poor his family was growing up in Ohio, we spoke at length. You have nowhere to go literally when you catch the Rhino, because in theory, it leaves the green zone around 11pm to 1am – hurry up and wait US Army style. And after you get past the first leg of the trip, you catch a second bus to Camp Victory and at about 8am you catch another bus from Victory to Baghdad International Airport, and then you sit oh and wait until the charter flight shows up from Dubai, and you board at maybe 2pm. I told you, its called hurry up and wait. Sorry for the digression.
I was inclined to stick with David, he was nice, finally someone that had all his teeth and was young like me. I was tired of all my older coworkers calling me “kiddo”. Lol. After enough gisting and saying where we were going for holiday, we moved to personal goals. He was considering going beyond a 2 year degree, I encouraged him and told him when we got back we could examine programs he could do online etc. He also told me he was writing a book. One thing about the war zone, everybody was writing a book, except me. Even people that couldn’t construct English sentences from Texas were writing books. Of course I snickered and I said oh really? About what please? One of the secretaries in my department was writing a war romance book, and she was always bribing me with exotic starbucks tea or green bean coffee mixes to read her work.
Anyways David kept up with the said book. Despite all odds, I received an email in 2010, the year I quit the company about proof reading and helping with the arrangement of chapters. He had run off and had about 2 kids and a wife at this point, so his attention span was a bit wonky. We went through the book over the period of about a year. And he kept getting turned down by publishers, some people told him it wasn’t an exciting book, some told him it wasn’t what they were looking for etc. He went real quiet around 2012, and stopped mentioning the book. Some of his family members even told him he was trying to be white because he began and completed a book. Poor education and poverty have some folks brainwashed I tell you.
I was so stoked this morning I saw David had set up the website for the book. The journey took eight years, eight solid years. I am not saying the work is perfect, but I am glad my friend made it. It’s a prime example of why not to do stuff you aren’t passionate about or remotely interested in. More people dogged him out and discouraged him in comparison to those who supported him. The book is titled “Down There” its by David Thoreau, you can read the first three chapters on www.dthoreau.com. The book gives an account of his time in the Military and then as a civilian contractor supporting the military in Afghanistan and Iraq. Once I am able to get physical copies of the book, I will be giving away some on the blog. I am praying for a miraculous airline ticket to America this Christmas so I can get some copies from him.
What I learnt this morning from my friend David is that patience and persistence are of the essence. I have been working on my nursery for a little over a year, and the progress is really slow right now. So slow that on some days I wonder if God has forsaken me, but he knows best.
I now have a new issue, since winning stuff, I have applied for random raffles, yesterday $2500 from blue Nile (diamonds), this morning $750 from Neiman Marcus Last call. May God help me truly. Lol.
The giveaway still remains the 2- N500 airtime. Rules are still the same, post your email alongside your comment. A lot of people haven’t been doing this, without it I cant pick a winner to contact. I hope our giveaways next week can become more exciting. I am looking for things that are useful for everyone, more gift certificates etc. Affordable suggestions are welcome.