Author: Hari Navarro, Staff Writer
War is a sanguisuge. The blood thief, taker of light and life and sleep that is sound. The old one who rips speech from shocked throats and piss-stains the sheets of the brave.
Two fat men sit in a room leafed in gold. A dirty pact oozes from their pens and they smile as they shift the swelling sacks in their trousers and pick at their teeth and laugh about things that aren’t funny.
They’ve decided that war is obsolete and a fiscally succulent peace is declared. It’s no longer acceptable for bombs to make holes in great beaches.
It ended. Just like that, the fat men took credit but I think that people simply tired of the waste. It ended save for one tiny corner in the red desert sand. Here war would be allowed its rage.
Sixteen gargantuan turrets appear in the night, a line drawn, aligned in the sand. Face-to-face juggernauts, two hundred meters and a now dwarfed barbed wire barrier all that separates unstoppable force from immovable an intractable hate. Pure electrical might hurled from one side and caught and returned by the other. A farcical bloodless barrage.
But there is one special single day. A day of death and a time to celebrate the loss of violences’ past.
Millions make the pilgrimage to visit this front, this façade. Actually, the back of the front as this was where massive hotel complexes have latched like voyeur backpacks behind the great shields as they boom and shudder their volleys of super-charged fire.
The comedian stands behinds her own shield, the microphone that lifts her and deflects daggers as they soar. Words which now dart through the bar and up to her stage along gush currents of liquor and machismo filled wheeze.
She knows this is the eve of a day that cuddles their hearts, a day where nostalgia and patriotism stand heads bowed atop a thousand bloodied plains.
Their vitriol forms her. But she wonders if she is truly as grotesque as they say. She looks out over the sea of chests, puffed with ancestors medals and eyes puffed with memories of death and of innocence bartered and she too feels the weight of their loss.
Loss she can leverage and mock. One she can strip to its core and parade naked through the selective passages of their minds. A cascade of shunned homosexuals and deserters, of rapists and looters and cowards.
Her grandfather had loved her but even he grew uneasy at the barbs in her jokes. He said nothings ever simple when guns and flags are forced by old men into the mouths of the young. Remembrance is private and honour is something earned and not an accessory that comes with the kit.
He knew what she was trying to say.
Tomorrow the cannons will stop and volunteers will march into the gauntlet field. Stripped of clothing and with nothing but stones in their hands. Proportionate stupidity for all.
Humanity has done away with cruelty but still, it allows itself this one cheeky sip. To gaze over the lip of their glasses and drink in the nakedness and death that glistens in the sun.
The comedian clears her throat and the mindless weapon beneath her feet also now tires of the coming farce and it swivels, putting its back to the barrage.
Molten sparking death rips through the hotel, it roars and it peels and cooks our children and medals they fuse and melt and fall into the ash, but nothing will change. Nothing.
Tomorrow the games will go on.