On the bus ride from the barren ghost town airport to the military post there are shadows seen in the moonlight, rising out from the desert. Large chunks of medal, stone, road kill and lots of garbage sticking out of the sand to the left and right of the street our cramped full bus drives down. I don’t believe the occasional road kill I saw was killed by any vehicle at all because the carcasses didn’t have any severe damage. You see this is not the kind of road kill you may be accustomed to seeing in America. These are not cats, raccoons, skunks, dear, or even dogs you see laying dead on the side of the road. In Kuwait you see only dead horses, to the left and right you'll see dead horses, large rotting carcasses. I probably saw more than seven dead horses during the forty minute bus ride to the military post in Kuwait. It was as if they were not allowed to go beyond the borders, and when they tried they died, now casting their own shadows as a warning for anyone who would ever dare wander into the vast desert.
I hate having to wait in Kuwait...
I can swear this place is one of Dante’s floors of Hell that the living have to pass through before we get to the cradle of life, the fallen Eden-Iraq (which isn’t very nice either). I suppose the thought may just be a romantic notion, but I also felt like Kuwait may be on the outskirts of Gods' canvas, the edges of this painting called Earth. When first getting off of the plane and stepping out into the desert air of the waste land the first thought is shit. Because this is what you smell, a gust of shitty night air blowing into your face. Not really gag inducing, but just bad enough to leave you feeling like you want to pass through this place as quickly as possible, but that's the joke really, for Kuwait never lets you pass through fast enough, and the smell of defecation always lingers in your nostrils. I can't judge the people here, have not met enough of them, but I feel sorry for the heat they have to deal with daily.
What was most impressive though, almost like an unexpected gust of refreshing cool air on a scorching hot day, was the sight of the rising sun on the horizon of this apocalyptic looking desert. I have taken pictures of the rising sun but when I look at the images the feeling is not the same. There was this feeling of gratitude followed by sadness when I first saw the sun emerge. Never could I imagine a time when I would be able to look at the sun without having to turn away, and I was truly in awe of the blood red orb that I could stare at without blinking. She spoke and she said, “I still see you Eden, I see what you were and I remember, so in your memory I will bring beauty back to you for these morning moments.” And later I learned that when she left she shined her beauty kindly when she wished the dead land a restful night. The sunset and the sunrise is the only beauty on this floor of Hell we call Kuwait, and the sight is not the same anywhere else. The hours in between the sunrise and sunset our so horrific that during those hours you’ll forget her rising and setting beauty, and you’ll remember all too well the Hell you’re in.
As I said earlier Kuwait does not let you leave as quickly as you will, she makes you suffer some, almost to the point where you can take no more. In the day she beats down on you, and the (at first glance) glorious sun turns into a monster just when you were foolish enough to reach out your hand towards her beauty. She changes as soon as she fully emerges from the horizon; she is possessed, becoming something else, the tone changes from a peace like a bubbling brook to an ear piercing shriek. She snaps out at you and you try to pull back, but it’s too late.
You are told that you will only be in her land for a few hours, and then you will catch a flight to Iraq, but she changes her mind and keeps you for a day. When the morning comes you feel that peace again from the rising sun, causing you to once again fall for her seduction, and you know that you will be heading out that day, for surely plans won’t change again. But as soon as the sun fully emerges you somehow know that you will not be leaving yet, you have not suffered enough.
Somehow your bags are loaded on a plane that you cannot yet board. Your clothes, your hygiene bag and even your book-to read and escape in some way from the Hell you are in, are all packed on a plane that seems to be going nowhere soon.
The heat is so horrible that your mind feels dull, your senses weak. You feel helpless to defend yourself, and to even reach some water or food seems like a chore as you walk towards your sustenance. You feel grimy, so damp with funk, and you realize that you are contributing to that rancid smell you first noticed when you stepped off of the plane.
Four days went by in Kuwait like groundhogs day, one could not tell if it was four days, or four weeks. And the schedule for our departure kept on changing, so by the time we were on the bus heading towards our flight out to Iraq we felt too weak, and too battered to be joyful. I personally felt violated, like I wanted to huddle into a corner on the bus and try to find some peace in sleep. This is what she waits for of course, she is waiting for you to break, for you to surrender. And then she lets you go with her mark, she releases you, and from now on you will appreciate your life a little bit more where ever you are, being thankful that you are no longer in Kuwait.
On the flight out of Kuwait this soldier feels relieved that he is heading to a war zone like Iraq where at least he will have a purpose. This is how much I hate Kuwait.