i. Aphrodite has given up on love. She listens to boys yelling obscene things at innocent girls. She can be found serving drinks at the local bar to broken women and spitting poisonous words at the filthy gentlemen next to them.
ii. Apollo dreads the moment the sun rises. Because when the sun goes up, his local late night show ends and his hour of fame comes to a close. He can be found spending his days, sitting on a park bench asking for loose change and wishing his poetry was good enough.
iii. Ares doesn’t understand war anymore. All he sees is needless bloodshed and brutal homicide based upon abhorrent racial cleansing and childish disagreements. He can be found weeping over the destruction of schools and the murder of innocent children.
iv. Artemis doesn’t hunt game anymore. She carries a switchblade and mace, prepared to fight off any boy harassing a girl with intoxicated footsteps. She can be found holding back girl’s hair as they vomit up their insecurities while sobs wrack their body into the next morning.
v. Athena has stopped believing in reason. When there’s international conflict concerning who marries who and a nationwide crisis about the newest fashion, reason just doesn’t seem applicable anymore. She can be found protesting with college students about real problems.
vi. Dionysus can’t help the madness. When the frequency of mental illness - in children nonetheless, has become so high? What’s the point? He can be found at the same pub and same seat as always; drinking the same dry whisky wishing everything would be the same as it used to be.
vii. Hades can’t stand jewels anymore. Emeralds reflect the envy and greed of humanity while rubies reflect their sexual and blood lust. He can be found rolling his eyes at people begging for their lives in the allies while human demons hunt them down for materialistic ends.
viii. Hephaestus has developed a hatred of fire. It does nothing but steal. It steal oxygen from the air and steal people from their families. Fire does not give it takes. He can be found saving everything he can from fire’s wrath, but will later choke on the smoke of his cigarette.
ix. Hermes can’t stand traveling. His legs are weak and his eyes are strained. He’s carried too many messages to people about the death of loved ones and the love letters are scarce. He can be found stealing, not money, but of their hope and strength because he’s hasn’t any left.
The gods are among us and they can’t survive. Why should I?
Jake Pogue, a 32-year-old marine corps vet, returned to the Sacred Stone camp on Friday.
US veterans are returning to Standing Rock and pledging to shield indigenous activists from attacks by a militarized police force, another sign that the fight against the Dakota Access pipeline is far from over.
Army veterans from across the country have arrived in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, or are currently en route after the news that Donald Trump’s administration has allowed the oil corporation to finish drilling across the Missouri river.
The growing group of military veterans could make it harder for police and government officials to try to remove hundreds of activists who remain camped near the construction site and, some hope, could limit use of excessive force by law enforcement during demonstrations.
“We are prepared to put our bodies between Native elders and a privatized military force,” said Elizabeth Williams, a 34-year-old air force veteran, who arrived at Standing Rock with a group of vets late on Friday. “We’ve stood in the face of fire before. We feel a responsibility to use the skills we have.”
It is unclear how many vets may arrive to Standing Rock; some organizers estimate a few dozen are on their way, while other activists are pledging that hundreds could show up in the coming weeks. An estimated 1,000 veterans traveled to Standing Rock in December just as the Obama administration announced it was denying a key permit for the oil company, a huge victory for the tribe.
The veterans camp at Standing Rock.
The massive turnout – including a ceremony in which veterans apologized to indigenous people for the long history of US violence against Native Americans – served as a powerful symbol against the $3.7bn pipeline.
But the presence of vets was not without controversy. Some said the groups were disorganized and unprepared to camp in harsh winter conditions, and others lamented that they weren’t following the directions of the Native Americans leading the movement.
Vets with post-traumatic stress disorder also suffered in the cold and chaotic environment without proper support, said Matthew Crane, a US navy veteran who is helping coordinate a return group with the organization VeteransRespond. His group has vowed to be self-sufficient and help the activists, who call themselves “water protectors”, with a wide range of services, including cleanup efforts, kitchen duties, medical support and, if needed, protection from police.
“This is a humanitarian issue,” said Crane, 33. “We’re not going to stand by and let anybody get hurt.”
On Friday afternoon, as snow rapidly melted during an unusually warm day in Cannon Ball, Jake Pogue helped organize a vets camp area at Sacred Stone, the first camp that emerged last spring in opposition to the pipeline.
“We’re not coming as fighters, but as protectors,” said the 32-year-old marine corps vet, noting that he was concerned about police escalating tactics. “Our role in that situation would be to simply form a barrier between water protectors and the police force and try to take some of that abuse for them.”
Since last fall, police have made roughly 700 arrests, at times deploying water cannons, Mace, rubber bullets, teargas, pepper spray and other less-than-lethal weapons. Private guards for the pipeline have also been accused of violent tactics.
“We have the experience of standing in the face of adverse conditions – militarization, hostility, intimidation,” said Julius Page, a 61-year-old veteran staying at the vets camp.
Dan Luker, a 66-year-old veteran who visited Standing Rock in December and returned this month, said that for many who fought in Vietnam or the Middle East it was “healing” to help water protectors.
Julius Page a 61-year-old veteran: ‘We have the experience of standing in the face of adverse conditions.’
“This is the right war, right side,” said Luker, a Vietnam vet from Boston. “Finally, it’s the US military coming on to Sioux land to help, for the first time in history, instead of coming on to Sioux land to kill natives.”
Luker said he was prepared to be hit by police ammunition if necessary: “I don’t want to see a twentysomething, thirtysomething untrained person killed by the United States government.”
LaDonna Brave Bull Allard, founder of the Sacred Stone camp and a Standing Rock tribe member, said she welcomed the return of the vets.
“The veterans are going to make sure everything is safe and sound,” she said, adding, “The people on the ground have no protection.”
At Standing Rock, indigenous activists say the mass arrests and police violence have led many of them to develop PTSD, suffering symptoms that many veterans understand well.
“This historical trauma of indigenous communities in this country is very real. It’s tragic,” said Crane. “The military has a lot of the same problems.”
Aubree Peckham, a member of the Mescalero Apache tribe who has been at Standing Rock for months, was in tears on Friday as she described the way indigenous water protectors have bonded with vets.
“We don’t know how to protect ourselves against the tactical weapons they are using,” she said. “They are getting us better prepared.”
Peckham said the affection was mutual: “We are able to talk about PTSD. And they finally feel like they are understood.”
“This love was so pure it would smolder within their hearts for all eternity”
That one, single line from the book made your heart hurt. Is that the word? hurt? or…Is it something else entirely. It pained. That, you are sure about. There is just something about it, that that made you go over it once again…not analyzing, just letting it sink in, let your mind absorb it, let your body absorb it, let your soul absorb it. The book remains open on that one page; your eyes hovering above each letter and word for a long time. What did it mean? How can a love smolder you? is that even possible? How can it be eternal?. The more these silent questions spread through your thoughts, the more you feel confused, the more you feel empty; but at the same time, you somehow understand exactly what they mean. You need someone to talk about this. You read over the phrase once more:
“This love was so pure it would smolder within their hearts for all eternity”
Without realizing, pools of tears flood your eyesight, trying to blink them away the big drops drip down your cheeks. A face on the back of your mind appears. His dark and messy hair. His big gentle eyes. His goofy smile.
“Jungkook” a giggle joins the streams of water rolling down your eyes, while saying his name out-loud, making you realize you aren’t sad; In fact, you are desperate to see him again, to hug him and kiss him -just like you did every time you are together. Putting the book down, you grab the cell phone on the nightstand, ignoring the piece of white paper, standing out because of the sapphire blue seal on the front, and tap over his name on the contact list. -the dial tone causing you anxiety and a pang on your chest. It is the first time you felt like this, so frantic and in a haste about phoning him.
Unwillingly, your eyes travel to the night stand once again, landing over the closed envelope with the blue sigil. You knew this day might arrive. Since the very beginning.