Wednesday, November 09, 2005


Alas, the Martian Death Flu is fast retreating into the province of memory. A persistent cough is all that remains of the once formidable disease, but even so, I declined to go to work today. Instead, I folded up my fuzzy orange blanket, washed a small mountain of dishes, and went out to meet Atomic and the girls.

Atomic has returned, somewhat unexpectedly, from a long stint in Afghanistan. She will set off for a well-deserved European vacation in a few days time, but tonight, we listened with rapt attention as she told tale of her most recent adventures.

She began by declaring that the country that has been her home for the last six months is, in a word, fucked. “There is no hope for that place,” she said. “None.” This from a woman who has spent time in Bosnia, Iraq, Iran, and Kurdistan, and who, even when drunk, is not prone to hyberbole.

She then proceeded to regale us with stories about the kidnapping of World Bank officials, tank battles fought between rival warlords over homosexual courtesans, and the various ways that foreign nationals conspire to circumvent their curfews. She also described smoking the best hashish on earth, which may have been the only thing that kept her sane.

We are, in any case, delighted that she has come back to us, and, no, she doesn’t know where Bin Laden is. I asked.

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