Blackhumouristpress's Blog

May 11, 2010

Welcome Home, Soldier or It’s a Thag’s Life

Filed under: Uncategorized — blackhumouristpress @ 9:22 pm
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Kilbourn came back from two tours of duty in Afghanistan without much psychological damage and his whole body intact.  Being an Army Ranger, Kilbourn had been really gung-ho about finding and defeating the Taliban in Afghanistan.  After seeing the situation and living it, Kilbourn understood that it was not going to be easy to flush out the enemy as it was all to easy to cross the border into Pakistan and disappear for a while.  Kilbourn suspected that if the Soviets, who were ruthless and not too concerned with human rights and polls at home, could not defeat the Taliban or the former Mujahedeen, it was going to be damn near impossible for the United States to win both the hearts and minds and whatever else needed to be won in order to feel good about having gone there in the first place.

                Kilbourn landed at O’Hare in Chicago and had his sister take him to Superdawg so that he could have a really good Chicago hot dog, fries and a shake.  A group of friends gathered at Kilbourn’s apartment on the north side of Chicago to celebrate the fact that he was home and had not been killed or blown apart into nonfunctioning pieces.

                 The next day, Kilbourn stood out on the patio that faced the street and had a cigarette in the warm spring sun.  It was nearly noon and it felt good to sleep the whole night without interruption, in a bed, with sheets and a pillow and not have to worry about dying… So much.

                A man, who looked to be a solid mélange of several different races and ethnicities, drove up on a bicycle made to resemble a low rider vehicle.  It had long forks and little wheels and a banana seat.  For a boy of twelve, it would have fantastic ride.  For an unemployed, felon on drugs, the bicycle was a bit ridiculous. 

                Avery had been out of Cook County Jail for almost two weeks and had just been piss tested the day before and so he thought it was safe to indulge in some recreational drugs.  The black Jeep Wrangler that was jacked up and full of military type stickers on the back caught Avery’s attention.  He noticed that the driver side window was down enough to put a hand through.  Avery got off his bike and reached in through the window to grab a smart looking ball cap with pins and patches on it from the Army.  It belonged to Kilbourn and had the staff sergeant patch on it and pins.  Avery grabbed a handful of toll money from the cup holder and stuffed it into his pocket and drove off with Kilbourn’s smelly military hat cocked to the left.  Kilbourn ran down the stairs, barefoot with no shirt on and a pair of jeans.  Kilbourn never yelled.  He decided he would tackle the thief off of the bicycle and then beat him to show him his displeasure with the fact that he had to go fight for people like him.  Kilbourn thought that a better punishment for a man who would steal a hat and pocket change out of a vehicle, should be to have the hands removed by the Taliban.  The Taliban would be able to dissuade the drug addicted thief from stealing again at least with his hands.

                Avery tried to make a call on his cell phone while riding the bicycle  towards a mechanic’s garage.  Avery was within the fence when Kilbourn caught up with him.  Several men walked out wondering what it was that Kilbourn wanted, half naked and out of breath.  Two of the four men had wrenches in they’re hands.  It had been a few weeks since they were robbed by a white guy with no shirt on and they were all curious as to what it was that Kilbourn wanted.  Kilbourn sensed the situation was going to deteriorate and so he defused the situation the best he could.

                “Did you guys see a dog come by here?’

                The men shook their heads as Avery got off of the bike and staggered inside the shop.  Kilbourn went back to his house and called the police and within thirty minutes, a squad car showed up.  The officers were more annoyed than anything else to be dealing with the theft of a ball cap.

                “So it was a baseball hat?”

                “No not a Cubs or a Sox, hat…  It was my staff sergeant’s hat that made it all through two tours of fucking duty in Afghanistan.  Dudes with fucking bathrobes and towels on their heads were trying their level best to fucking annihilate me and I make it all the way home and some fucking crack head reaches into my car and steals my shit.  It’s the principle of the whole thing, man.  How would you feel if you just got home after fighting for fuckheads like that and then you get robbed?”

                Officer Timms thought about it.  He had served in the Desert Storm and had been in Kuwait and remembered what it was like to trudge through the desert while the sky rained oil.  Officer Timms remembered thinking that not one damn person except his mother seemed to know or care about what he had to go through in the Middle East.  Officer Timms offered to drive over with Kilbourn to try and retrieve the hat.  The two officers were about to get into the squad car when Avery drove towards them on the bicycle, wearing the Army hat cocked to the side while talking on his cell phone.  Avery soon figured out that the officers were chasing him and picked up his speed on the bike.  Avery couldn’t have peddled fast enough to elude Kilbourn.  Kilbourn sprinted like a lion on the Serengeti towards a wildebeest.  Kilbourn tackled Avery and removed the hat from his head.  The two officers caught up and slapped the cuffs on Avery.  Avery’s eyes were glazed on his forehead were the words, “Thag Life” in gothic blue letters.

                “Thag Life?”

                “Shh-damn… I wad fucked up when I got the tattoo.  It’s sposta say T-H-U-G…” said Avery.

                “Doesn’t say much for our education system when a thug can’t even spell out what he represents,” said Timms.

                “True dat…” said Avery, while shaking his up and down in agreement.

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