Tuesday, May 10, 2011

life is a beach, i'm just playin' in the sand[storm]. -lil wayne/layla shaikley

             I went outside to find the most beautiful sunset ever. Such a deep amber, that I became engrossed in the frame created by my eyes.  In photographing the site on the satah (parapet of vernacular Iraqi design), I didn't realize I was caught in the middle of a sandstorm. My cousin’s wife ran upstairs coughing away as she closed the balcony door behind me. I came into a house, foggy with sand, realizing that my ignorance would cost us our comfort until the storm was over.
These sandstorms, previously unseen, have become quite common with the recent war. Humvees and other heavy means of transportation and artillery pulled against Iraq’s desert terrain to offset the natural topography of the desert. As a result, blue skies have become quite uncommon in Baghdad.
Like a bad 80s movie, I entered a foggy looking bedroom as I prepared to finally sleep. I woke up before dawn to an to an unfamiliar grit in my skin. My throat felt as though I had been sipping choppy Alaskan winds through a straw all night.  My eyes were on fire. I spent the next hour in disbelief about how much pain I felt, mentally engineering anti-sandstorm sleep devices. Wet curtains that act as hanging filters and air suctions—I never fell back asleep that night.

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