Dear Russian soldier,
My name is Debbie Todd. You don’t know me but I think I know you. You are fighting in Ukraine and you strip and rape women then kill them in the streets where you leave their bodies to decompose along with the others you have slaughtered who were defenseless. Oh, and let’s not forget the poor man whom you made strip off his sweater before you shot him in the head. His wife ran out to see the blood still pumping from the wound. You took the sweater. Does the color suit you?
So, why am I writing you, you ask? I am writing because I am curious about a couple of things. Are you married? Do you have children? I just have this hunch that you are a husband and a father. I know, I know, silly me–women’s hunches and all, yeah, I get it.
When you come home on leave, do you take your children–each in turn–and hold them in your lap while you tell them what daddy did at work that day? Do you tell them all the details so that they can grow up to be just like you? Do you tell your wife about the rapes? Do you tell her you rape as practice so you can be a more attentive lover?
Perhaps Putin will offer–as a bonus for your fine work–a “take your child to work day”–much like corporations in my country do.
Will you say, “OK, honey, watch daddy,” and then look around for the perfect mark–oh yes, there it is! The man on the bicycle! You will pause because you will turn to make sure your child is watching and once satisfied that he or she is, you will shoot that man. Or perhaps your kids may want to see something more prolonged–you know, kinda like watching a movie. It depends on the child’s age and attention span. Anyway, there is that thing you do, stripping women of their clothes in the street to humiliate them, then, whipping out your privy member(why do I think it may be tiny?) you rape them. As you zip up, you turn and smile at your child with that look that says, “And now for the pièce de résistance,” and you gun down those women.
Lots of parents take pride when their children follow in their footsteps. I hope you will be proud. “Just like his dad,” people will say. Warms your heart. No, not really, but I will get to that.
Oh, wait, you say that your work is a special mission? That of course you are not going to reveal to your family what you do at work, because it is–finger to lips–a secret that just daddy has.
Oddly enough I feel more troubled for you if you cannot tell your family about your day at the office. It means that all that you do at your job lives inside of you with no outlet. Haunts you. Eats at you. I mean, probably not right away. Take, for example, just a couple of bad dreams. You know, the kind in which it has a little bit of real-life mixed with the boogey man. You know what I mean, most people have experienced a bad dream at least once in their life.
But back to the haunting. The dreams will be bad enough. You may start to drink–bring out the vodka! Cheers. You will drink too much but you will be able to tell yourself you have it under control when really it is because now that haunting feeling is making you rather sick to your stomach and the booze helps.
It won’t stop there. It is kind of an evil ooze that infects your soul now. You let it in during your visit to the innocents of Ukraine. It has a stench that you can’t shake because it is inside of you, it lives within you. Not yet? There, there, it will come.
You will take your kids out to the park for a walk, perhaps for a turn on a swing, and in a flash across your vision there will be someone or something that takes you back to those days and like a feature film superimposed upon your real vision, you will see again, the rape and the blood.
The sweater. Before you get dragged into the pit of darkness and evil that you cannot shake, wear the sweater. I mean, you earned it. You sold your soul when you took it from that man before you executed him. Wear it with your drinking buddies, most likely the guys you hang with when you are on special assignments. Tell them the story, make them laugh. Cheers! Clink glasses or whatever the proper protocol is when you seek to become blind drunk.
Wait. Do you have daughters or are all your children sons? Actually, it doesn’t matter since both genders can be raped. Even though there are statistically fewer rapes in Russia from its magnificent heyday in 2005, you gotta wonder if your wife and kids are safe. S**t happens. And what will you think if that happens to one of your loved ones? See, I told you I was curious about a couple of things.
OK, so back to your wife. Whether or not you have told her about your day at the office, you are kind of getting weirded out by stuff and the drinking isn’t helping. Sex. Yep, get your mind off the haunting and have sex with your wife. Uh oh. You can’t get it up. Oh my. Wonder why that is happening.
You will not be able to avoid hell. Nope. I mean, there is the fiery afterlife hell, but also you will live your days on earth with a hell inside of you. It will eat you away. Some may say it is because of PTSD or as they used to call it, shell shock. “Poor guy, you know he was on that special mission in Ukraine,” you will hear them say.
But you will know. And I, a stranger to you, will know. You are a dead man walking.
With kindest regards,