I retired them all from their work, hacking at my flesh, raking me over the coals, depriving me of sleep in my own torture room. I walked down the center aisle of my pirate ship dredging my own poisoned river and tapped each of my oarsmen on the shoulder.
For the first time in a long time, I gave them the day off.
All my life these men have done my holy will. I have stood atop this chauffeured Bradley Jeep just behind the blistering front lines with a cigar affixed between my teeth. I have oozed with pride watching my men torch everything. For I have brought war, and the battleground has been this blessed life of mine.
We opened up craters in the great frontier. We bombed the bridges to our homeland. We scorched the land and sky so many times.
The stories I could tell. The lessons I have learned. The accomplished general I have become, and I am just beginning to learn my abilities. We are just beginning to apply some pressure to the enemy.
We are just beginning to enjoy success.
As you can imagine, this is a very exciting time in my army.
So I suspect meaning in finding you beyond the smoke, just as we advanced further into enemy territory than ever before.
This day I will spend with you, and this night, too. I have quieted the guns so we may hear silence under the sun. Tonight, I’ll spread the stars in the sky from my general’s tent, for I have powers, as the enemy has learned and you will soon see.
Today is a well-earned day off from the campaign.
My men and I return to work tomorrow.
Tomorrow, the war resumes.
But today, we planted a forest for you, and kissed you gently.