Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Manhattan Maneuvers

Why am I standing on this late night, Forest Hills street corner smoking a cigarette after that 2-day marathon in the garage flea sauna? It's a necessary and disgusting habit, like schlepping antiques all over hell for two weeks that's why. I'm working out the remaining adrenalin while awaiting further instructions from my superiors. I shouldn't be telling you this, in fact your life is endanger knowing this much…I'm special forces. I know, I know, mild- (never mind) mannered midwestern mom-type with the requisite antiques hobby as cover (taxonomically speaking "job" might be over-reaching acceptable measure for this classification). But that's really why I was in that filthy Manhattan garage in 3-digit temps for the last two days of the East Coast tour. All I am at liberty to say is that strategic goals were mostly achieved, as best we can tell from command's grumbling, and I am on furlough so to speak, until Friday 0500 hours (when I reboard for new york, collect my progeny from camp and that full truck to make the fun drive home).

You can sleep nights knowing enemy combatants have been subdued (put down those fine ionic capitals dude, the password is NOT "are you gonna let me walk over $10?) and we've infiltrated by way of underground networks (they'd NEVER think to look for live people in this breathless box of death…by the way did we burn that stinking uniform?…oops, left it in the truck, note to self, pack hazmat bags and military strength orange-all spray). Hah! it only looks like a gross men's bathroom but actually it's a top secret command station where I quick-changed after 11 hours of duty (touching nary a surface mind you) and "showered" in the sink (remember this is the woman who gave you roadside cornfield latrine maneuver…I say suck it up, this is no time for prissy prudery and frankly we are beyond the term "shvits") and pulled that kinda short little black dress disguise on (really at her age…) Leave it to the female officers to convoy through manhattan and reconnoiter with the rest of our unit at headquarters (Bel Aire Diner, one billion other places to eat in New York, but there's the all night factor, free parking of large vehicles and complimentary mini muffins to consider).

The beauty of this assignment, which I will be repeating in September, is that there is no thinking. We know what they want (sorta kinda), we're well-prepared for the arm-wrestling, and they traffic in a currency we can trade in. Now if we can only keep Colonel Kurtz from losing it. That sleep deprivation and iced coffee defribillation makes the lips a little jiggy and voice a little loudish and with the "shoppers" wearing all manner of disguises beyond reasonable codes of decency (see-through lingerie, people on leashes, etc.), it's tough to concentrate on the the real operatives. Above all, we are there to keep our targets in the sight and to make the all-important trade. Ahh the smell of automotive grease and hot humans, the last minute deal-making by scavengers. I think I hear the flight of the valkyries playing and helicopters in the distance (so harmonic with new york accents and sirens). Re-entering familiar airspace in 14 hours and focused on destination my own mattress. Will face the tribunal and the missing documents later, the saloon calls for a cold one and then it's over and out for this soldier. Will report for duty at 0800, just enough time to have our story straight for the budget oversight committee on alleged abuses of funds.

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