Wednesday, October 5, 2016
A Long Day in Vietnam
((A remembrance) (Those with weak stomachs, please do not read!))
In 1971, there was still 205,000-American troops in Vietnam, and we had four more years yet to go, before the war would end. The Chinese, and Russia, used Hanoi for their proxy war with America, and the winner was American industries. None of the rich went, or those who politically invested their sons in ways to beat the draft; president Clinton was one such person, as was George W. Bush. Nor did rich Donald Trump go. But that was just the way it was. When we came home we were called the baby-killers.
But during all this we GI’s were drinking ourselves to death, flying high on dope, playing the melancholy military soldier, far away from home, and we were deadly!
Sitting and waiting in our uniforms, that bad-tempered green, as our Vietnamese—workforces—burnt our manure.
And there were whores like Frenchie, a most beautiful Vietnamese to keep us from masturbating, and her kind to satisfy our lusts. Frenchie being an independent. Most had a mama-san, whom was usually a woman in authority, with several whores, whom would assigned this one or that one to a GI. The word is really English and Japanese (suffix) –san, and Mama, English.
To get along in Vietnam, you learned a few words like: sin chow, meaning: Hello, or Tam Biet meaning Goodbye. Also Khome, meaning no, or Vung, meaning yes. But there was one deadly word, used often as joking, and sometimes not so joking, and they used the American slang to say it, not their Vietnam ‘giết’: but in American slang it was “I crocodile you!” Sometimes they spoke it in past tense, and we GI’s used it likewise, the work is ‘Kill’ as the phrase means likewise.
The first month I was in Vietnam, a serious matter had come up. Everyone was talking about the donut girls, otherwise known as the Red Cross girls. That is when I learned the terminology of the meaning, giết’ or Kill, and tra tấn which means torture. When I heard what had taken place I was sick with nausea, a heedless horror.
I tell this story—after 45-years, of the two donut girls only so their memory may not be forgotten, and for the reader to realize, we had some very brave woman in the armed forces, a tear comes to my eyes as I write this—this is the point of no return, if you can’t take impressions of death, atrocious death without battle, you must not go beyond this point.
Beyond the attackers, those who found the two girls, caught no involuntary glimpses of the horrid feast that was being enjoyed by the enemy, nor the enemy, evidently the girls this merciless act of torture had taken place a day or two before their discovery, but a squad of men out looking for them.
And it might be presupposed, in the infernal cycle of torture, and their fate, it was once captured, all too clearly to them, what was in store.
They were tied to stakes, stripped bare, left in the sun to burn, skin slit, and peeled back, an oil laid over their skin like honey, their body’s half-eaten as provender, by: ants, spiders, bugs, and so forth. There was no eddying combat, the two girls were stretched a little apart, and there was a long large log, when I suppose the Viet Cong sat as if watching the gruesome orgy with detached interest.
Of all the torturers in this erratic world, this kill, this ‘giết’ verges upon ebon blackness. I have never forgot it, as they brought back their sloping hairless heads that denoted a large brain-cavity. No trace of ears, evidently detached, cut off or eaten. These were satanic angels, malign demon, wholly poised as humans, aloft and dispassionate.
Note: Written out in form, May 6, 2016/#5231, and finished 10-2016. It has taken me five months to express this, and perhaps I should not have. But for whatever reason, the atrocities of war are never told, not those dark ones; and here is one dark one. Those with weak stomachs, please do not read! Reedited for a forthcoming book.