They came in armoured vehicles and there were some tanks. They shot five bullets through the door of our house. They said they wanted Aref and Shawki, my father and my brother. They then asked about my uncle, Abu Haidar. They also knew his name.
My mum yelled at them. She asked: ‘What do you want from my husband and son?’ A bald man with a beard shot her with a machine gun from the neck down. Then they killed my sister, Rasha, with the same gun. She was five years old. Then they shot my brother Nader in the head and in the back. I saw his soul leave his body in front of me.
They shot at me, but the bullet passed me and I wasn’t hit. I was shaking so much I thought they would notice me. I put blood on my face to make them think I’m dead.
This kid:Hey, Vikas, what would you have proposed doing to stop Hitler? War is hell, but sometimes it's necessary.
Me:Your question in't even worth answering. Okay, war with Hitler is justifiable. Therefore, war is good? Therefore the killing of innocent civilians in Afghanistan is good? Therefore mass imperialism and nationalism is perfectly fine? Justifying one war doesn't mean war is good. It means that attacking hitler leads to less deaths and less suffering than not attacking Hitler. That's all that means. Your argument is completely meaningless, like your existence.
I got into an accident today. Everyone kept asking me if I was hurt or if I was OK, and all I could think about was my truck. I know it sounds stupid to care for a car, and obnoxiously materialistic to care for objects, but I feel that if you put as much time, effort, grunt work, and money as I have into anything, you become attached to it. Old cars have depth.
“My best geocaching find was thanks to my smartphone. I was using one of the free geocaching apps for Android and had a total of five locations on my list to find. The first four were relatively easy, but the fifth was completely eluding me. It was fully a mile away from the other four, along a curved trail (actually a paved road that was no longer used for vehicular traffic) and the GPS coordinates indicated that it should have been off to the right side of the trail and about 15 feet into the woods. Needless to say, I had a hard time believing it considering that the terrain in that direction was pretty difficult. Nevertheless, I trudged through the trees, checking for snakes the whole way like the paranoid bastard I am, and found myself in a clearing. The app said I was right on top of the geocache, but the problem was that there were no obvious hiding spots except for a few very large rocks. Fortunately I had a friend along to help and we were able to overturn the rocks one by one until about halfway around we found a small case under one of the larger rocks, dug into a small indentation in the ground. I still marvel over the way it was hidden in the first place — my arms were sore for days from trying to lift those rocks, and I had help.
Despite being listed as “easy” on geocaching.com, the case had no obvious opening. Finally we managed to pry it open. I guess the underside of the lid had just accumulated so much mud and debris that it was stuck tight. I can’t imagine many people had successfully found it before us, especially considering how rural the area was.
Inside the case was a single slip of paper tucked in a plastic zip-loc bag. No pen, or log book, or any of the normal stuff for a case that size. We took out the paper and saw ten digits written in sequence, with no spaces or punctuation. I recognized the first 3 digits as an adjacent area code and plugged them into my phone, having no idea what would happen.
The phone was answered before it even rang, by a soft female voice that didn’t even ask me where I had found the number. I still don’t know exactly how or why, but I was utterly enchanted by the voice. We arranged to meet and I was given an address about 65 miles away. We went back to the car and just drove there. I still don’t really know why. My hands were shaking and I was sweating the whole way there. Jacob (the aforementioned friend) was along for the ride with me, and he never said a word.
Finally we pulled up to a quiet house in the suburbs. By this time it was dusk. The blinds in the house were all drawn and the only sign that we were expected was the lit porch light. Trembling with anticipation, we rang the doorbell. There was the sound of footsteps and the door began to open, the light from inside shining through.
Anyway, to make a long story short, my friend and I tag-teamed your mom all night, and it was incredible.”