Last night, Sergeant Boy and I were talking as we sat in tower three.
"You know," he said, "I leave in two weeks. I've been here a year."
He turned to look at me, his eyes sad in the early evening dim.
"In that year, nothing seems to have changed. If we kill a bad guy, two replace him. I thought we could make a difference, maybe, but the only difference I've seen this year, is our FOBs have improved a little." He shrugged.
"I mean, I guess that's good, but the country doesn't seem to have changed any."
I've been unusually tired lately. Sergeant Boy mentioned he was very tired, too, so I don't know if it's the season changing, or burnout, or what.
Today, I walked around for an hour watching at the bazaar outside our gate. These people could almost sell ice to Innuit. I meant to buy one rug for Kim Breed, since I still owe him one, and a sleep shawl for Holly B., as the sleep shawl I was going to send her when I left country (I used it to cover my doorway) is the only thing I've been able to determine for sure is missing from my things. Instead of these two items, I seem to have left with...um...more. It started with the little Afghan boy selling bracelets. I didn't especially want one, but I bought one. I think I spent almost a week's pay today, which is over double what I'd planned.
For this enormous sum, I have a rug for Kim, a rug for myself, some more shemaughs to take back to the States with me, a tailored suit, male Afghan dress for myself, a gift for a friend's birthday, and maybe even something for the wonderful Miz Holly.