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399. Duration (IX)

“They asked me to tell you about the war and what I saw in the war and so on. I didn’t see much, really. I told…I told the guy who called me from the project…Benjamin?…yeah Benjamin. I told him what I’d seen…from my perspective…from the ground, not the army and all that. How was I there? I was there for work, you know. Actually, it’s funny, I never liked Asia…my friends went there before university and went to Thailand, India…all that. I never went. Never interested. Above it. So I went later, it was a job…yeah, back then they needed native English-speakers. So, yeah, it was a silly job really. Easy. I had to edit this newsletter every morning, really early, for these corporate branches across Asia. Simple. Not much money. I don’t why I took it…probably a girl, you know…A girl really, you know.”

“So, yeah, it happened that the Chinese started…errr…around when Biden came in you know. The president? Yeah, so they flew over…flew these jets over again and again…but nobody cared much. It was in the news. It was in the newsletter. ‘Tensions,’ they always said …‘tensions rise’…yeah…what the Chinese wanted was for the Taiwanese to shoot one down and then say it was aggression. It’s a pretext. But I didn’t notice…”

“…didn’t pay attention. Went…I went to tourist sights…drank the beer…different restaurants. I worked with an American guy, from, errr, Toledo. A Canadian girl. An Indian girl who went to school in England, her parents were very rich. Yeah. We didn’t talk about it, no. It was just going on…people get on with their lives. Now my grandchildren say, ‘You must have known.’ No, it wasn’t like that. It was just…normal. People were normal in the streets.”

“Yeah, well. After it was over, you know, I always liked to read war books...Caesar’s campaigns. And play strategy games…And what I think—there was this Taiwanese guy, in their reserves, he said this to me one day—what I think is that the Americans should have put nukes in there. ‘They go away or give nwukes,’ this guy would say. Yeah, he had that Asian thing; he really said it like that—I didn’t think it was really like that, just like a cartoon. Yeah, he was right you see. The Chinese had all these new things…”

“Oh, like hypersonic missiles. Back then it was ‘mogg’—they ‘mogged’—just like in..errr…bodybuilding. That’s what we said. Showing off, right. It’s all changed now. All these new missiles, new cryptography, new submarines…there was a crash once. It was buried though, just a news item. Afterwards, it seemed significant…so, yeah, when it started I got trapped there with the other expats. The embassy staff, they went…they just had…huh…a form on the website. You filled it out. Ha. Yeah, so it was over very fast…but I saw…before they cut the Internet…I saw the American carrier…the Roosevelt…that went right over. Yeah. Yeah. That was the escalation you see…that’s when they brought in the other…after that there was no news. We heard things, but I didn’t know a lot until I got back in 2027.”

“Yeah, like the Taiwanese guy said, if they had nukes wouldn’t have happened. That was why it expanded out. I think it got crazy…’cause Biden he was, you know, not in control…well, they said he was a Chinese spy and what I saw…before they cut the Internet…was the fighting. It was national humiliation right…all those American sailors the Chinese paraded…I dunno at least three or four hundred…and people forget the Americans had messed up in Afghanistan just before. They were pissed with each other. People forget… Crazy. I knew an American guy and he said it just got crazy there. I was better off in Taiwan! Better off in internment! Yeah…so when they nuked Seoul…they call it a ‘limited tactical exchange’, yeah? But it was all over before, really…it was just the entanglement that escalated but Seoul was an afterthought…a few targets then they stopped…”


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