Accidental Voyeurism: How I Became Too Old For This Shit

“Sex is overrated; orgasms are not.”

I feel like there is a semicolon between those two statements. In fact, I’m pretty sure that when my neighbor says it in a deliberately flippant voice, she speaks that semicolon. A period would be too serious; as if “orgasms are not” means something to her beyond the kind of thing a character in Girls would say. No, she is sage, trendy, and worldly, probably. Sex is overrated—in her infinite experience and wisdom—semicolon. Anyway, a comma would be grammatically incorrect, and she doesn’t seem like the type to be grammatically incorrect, particularly since this evening is girls’ night in her room next to mine, with wine and gossip. Maybe an ellipsis? No, she’s too confident, and she isn’t being coy this time.

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The Images Left Over

Tear stained images sit right along side the countless practical jokes and pranks pulled on one another. A wry smile, a pool of blood in the sand, a pile of rocks just begging to be thrown by a bored marine waiting for duty to end, a sister crying uncontrollably at her brother’s memorial service, a threatening note written in Pashtun which I can only make out 3 of the words to, the fear of a man I will question for the next 4 hours about bomb making materials found in his home, or the sight of my friend being launched from the back of an Light Armored Vehicle just struck by an Improvised Explosive Device as the sound of bullets slice through the air as they pass my vehicle. Our experience as Veterans is different as we return to the home front.

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The Weatherman

“The Airforce wasn’t really what I thought it would be. They told me what to do all the time. And I’m fine with that, usually. It just seemed like the goal we were moving towards wasn’t worth it.”

“Well wasn’t your job, at least, exciting?” I wondered out loud.

“I was the meteorologist of my station, so I told them when the weather was safe to launch missiles. That’s why I go by ‘Weatherman’. It’s just that most people out here don’t know that that means I’ve killed people.”

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A Brave New World: Cyberwarfare and the Domestic Sphere

Conventional warfare is being replaced by cyberwarfare and the diplomatic practice of sanctioning. In most cases, these tools target the domestic sphere and are meant to damage economic activity and reduce civilian quality of life. Instead of aiming for an opponent’s tanks, ships, or air force, aggressor nations will now be shifting their focus to the fabric of civilian life: power grids, financial institutions, trade secrets, and capital flows. 

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Home on the Base

When she brought the cigarette away from her mouth, her hand made calming circles around her bulging mid section, her hips thrust forward as if showing off to the block. Eyes peeped out from units 1001A and 1002B, flickering curtains moving by the wakeful spirits behind them. With one final drag, Mrs. Kennedy pulled the embers expertly toward her fingers before flicking the stub into an ashtray, her hands unburnt. When she reached for the second one from a pack holstered by her side, Mrs. Morris decided to come retrieve her paper. The garbage truck thundered by, the sun rose higher over the branches of freshly planted oaks, and the women of the street emerged one at a time to watch. 

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