English Extension 2 Major

History (n.) ~ 1. Cyclical chronology of mistakes.

“Another cold morning I stir, with the blue-grey tinge of the world’s light hazing my quarters, cursing the bitter slumber gone past. Above the ambience of the war, the typical chaotic unrest, amplified by the distant sounds of gunfire, burning and the destruction, is numbed as my lethargy is momentarily disrupted. The beams of light struggle through the sprawling, haphazard slats of wood obstructing my window, just enough to illuminate the government’s cant on the other side of the wall, a perfect counterpoint to the mixture of dust and peeling flakes of paint off my ceiling.   I know what it says even without opening my eyes: Safety, Respect, Harmony – but in mirror-reverse, from this perspective. I give a huff from my nose, raise a grin and I summon up, almost automatically, the slogan down the hallway: War, Murder, Extinction. The point of protest, the reality, the reason for my cause - the reason for my unrest in a lousy bed every night and why we are the infidels not the arbitrators.

My now nugatory alarm rings stimulating a troop of men eager to rise and repent for their rest. Let me clarify. We do not want to fight, so we run and find comfort in sleep, however much closer to death it brings us. At least it is life: a life we seize, at least for the moment, for ourselves. After all, we merely crave the liberties that were once normally permissible, before the war: liberties that seem increasingly now like illusions.

Perhaps the great enemy is not a human being, but chronology. If we just had the time, we could be soldiers for the future; many of us are men of science, men of vision. But these men – our human enemies - do not give that luxury to us. The government’s sermon was religion to these men of war, who call themselves men of peace: being wakeful was their scripture and slumber, their most deadly of sin.”

The sound of sentry sensors –rudimentary as they are - rips through the smooth motion...