Saturday, November 19, 2011
RATS, TV The Great War and That Damn Black DOG
One never gets used to the shellfire. The indescribable fury of sound and air pressure collapses ones memory to milliseconds...your life measured by...luck. You're standing there...then you're not. You'e just turned to vapor...a whisper of blood mist on the wind.
Eleven days now with no relief...due mainly to the incessant rain here in the Salient and the non-stop shell-fire on all key transport routes in and out of Ypres. We are isolated in the front trenches...in fact, we probably are safer from the shellfire here in the front-line then the transport men on the roads and reserve trenches trying to bring in daily supplies and reinforcement.
Fritz is in a trench line merely yards away at certain points along the line...we can literally smell the German troops manning the front line fire-steps...it's impossible to wash up here.I imagine they can smell us as well...
Because of the proximity to the enemy, the non-stop shellfire and the ceaseless rain, it is all we can do to get the wounded out and to the reserve trenches to get medical treatment...we cannot move the dead out of the trenches...so we live with literally stacks of corpses now too and the corpses attract the rats.
I only slept for 45 minutes last night because of those rats. Their incessant feeding on the corpses keeps me awake as the scurry to and fro. The night night was surprisingly free of shell-fire for the first time in quite awhile.
You see the biggest issue with me now is the rats...I have to now leave the TV on at night because if I don't it's pitch dark and I'm convinced that there are RATS all around me...all OVER me.
Dear reader...for many years BEFORE I found recovery these were how I spent my nights...caught in a time-warp between my current reality and what I came to believe were windows in time of a previous life lived and lost as a British Soldier during the Great War on the Western Front. I have not had any Great War dreams in awhile and the rat dreams of the last week or so have come as a very unpleasant and uncomfortable surprise. I can't sleep because if I do I find myself at the FRONT...
Usually something is up with me psychologically if I am having these dreams again. Typically they accompany the Black Dog (Depression) so perhaps that's happening as well. Anyway I often wake not knowing what reality I belong to because the dream life is so incredibly real...it is so disturbing because it is so intense, so real. I fear that perhaps one day this battle will begin...I'll be initially involved in battle just like I always am except this time the battle never ends and I'm trapped in the War Zone forever. That is one of my great fears right now...