Ode to Hysteria

Dear Planet Earth,

I’m puking my guts out again and they keep telling me that it won’t be long now. “The Big Guy” is almost here.

I laugh. I tell them, “If I could keep any food in me, I’m sure I’d shit from pure terror.” They leave my cell before I finish the sentence. They laugh.

I’m out of it. Days become weeks become months. I think back to Diana, her dead, vacant eyes looking past me, focusing on something important just beyond my reach. I begin to envy the dead and their secret knowledge, the only knowledge they have over us.

I find my way back. I’m back to that day we saw the labor camp and the people in shackles, dragging their famished bodies inch by inch, forced to work at gunpoint. I’m back there and my back is toward the contentious discussion behind me. They’re arguing about do we go in and try to save them and we have no weapons and what happens when they capture us and what if we’re not so lucky as to only be captured and what is a fate worse than death?

I can’t pry myself away from the nightmare in front of me. The binoculars mold themselves into my eye sockets. The images of wincing grandmothers and crying children become burned on my retinas.

My allies ask for my opinion, they grab the binoculars when I don’t respond. Maria scans the area and miraculously discovers our original transport truck nearby. It’s abandoned, overturned, but filled with our missing M16s assault rifles. This eventually settles their arguments and they begin to focus on a strategy to liberate the labor camp.

I laugh. I puke.

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