N a p a l m H e a l t h S p a : R e p o r t 2 0 0 7
THE INVADED COUNTRY
the invaded country was nowhere I wanted to live any more, so I planned to make my escape over the border even though the enemy had locked our territory down & tried to keep us all under constant surveillance considering us all to be prisoners of war. . .the bad news that foreign armies had attacked & occupied the nation was announced only after it was much too late to mount any successful defense, only after they had seized all the weapons depositories & other centers of power. . .I was not certain whether to attribute our downfall to the treachery or to the incompetence of the people at the top, but I also knew the means did not matter one way or the other since, however the outcome came to be, the grim facts would remain the same: we had been enslaved by some other tyrant country & I had no recourse other than to take refuge in the underground & to do all I could to leave the disaster behind by moving to inhabit some free place. . .
I knew the underground already existed & would already have a structure in place that could expedite my escape since an invisible opposition had existed against our government long before the invasion happened, an opposition that had helped political fugitives find their way to liberation in lands that had been more than willing to welcome them. . .still, I was not quite certain how to establish contact with the underground & I needed to establish contact in order to have any possibility of accomplishing my escape successfully, so I had no choice other than to feign obedience to the laws imposed on upon us by our conquerors, laws designed to keep us walking on a straight & narrow line & no one walked a line more straight or more narrow than I appeared to walk. . .lulling my enemies into a false sense of security, they never suspected that I could prove to be a source of any trouble instead turning me into a poster boy demonstrating the desired conformity to the new regime, hiding in plain sight as it were since they were convinced I had provided them with the perfect submission they required & therefore, they looked right past me never staring at me hard. . .
contacting the underground proved to be a problem that kept me stymied for months since the occupying government established by the enemy favored public execution as the most effective method for keeping our captive citizens in line & therefore, the underground conducted invisible operations denying the enemy all opportunity of penetrating its secrets but also making it difficult for me to find the help I needed. . .the contact only happened after I had used my apparent obedience to the new iron law as a means of winning the trust of the authorities so they would employ me to guard guerillas who had been captured & sentenced to death, guerillas who had been sent from the underground to make strategic attacks against our oppressors, attacks designed to weaken their command over the structures of power they had erected. . .I distinguished myself as an exception among the guards since all the others treated the prisoners with extreme brutality breaking teeth & bones making blood gush with frequency satisfying their sadistic impulses figuring no scandal would happen if condemned men died before the dates of their appointed executions arrived. . .behaving with discreet kindness, I tried to win the trust of the prisoners never inflicting gratuitous violence upon them sneaking them secret food in excess of the meager rations allowed them doing everything I could to ease the lives they suffered before their sentences of death would be carried out
seeking to develop the reputation of genuine saint so different from their other captors that they would open up in response to my questions & reveal to me the information I needed, information that the occupying government had never been able to find out even when attempts were made to extract it from them by means of torture. . .
of course, despite my best efforts, earning the trust of the prisoners took me some time since, at first, they were suspicious that the authorities had assigned me to play the one good cop in a multitude of bad cops hoping to manipulate them for some sinister purpose, but, after some months had passed, I became convinced that my constant stream of good deeds had convinced them that I meant no harm & I decided to approach them one by one to see if any would give me directions that would allow me to find access to the underground. . .a great deal of persistence was required on my part since each & every prisoner I questioned denied that he possessed the knowledge I was seeking until I tried the last possibility, a prisoner who was scheduled to die the next morning, a prisoner who would have died in solitary confinement except for the bread I smuggled into his cell, & he told me what should have been obvious, that I had to cast aside a manhole cover & plunge down into the sewers running beneath the city streets in order to reach the underground. . .as soon as I had been told what I needed to do in order to contact the underground, I made the decision not to report to work the next morning or ever to report to work again choosing instead to go out under the cover of night, so no one would see me & I could vanish invisible casting aside a manhole cover to plunge into the sewers running beneath the city streets determined to make contact with the rebels who had
taken refuge in those subterranean depths hoping they would help me escape the oppression that the occupying government had imposed upon us. . .
the streets were absolutely deserted as I had expected since the occupying government kept the whole nation under a strict curfew & violators were often executed & left dead on the spot to provide us with a warning when we looked out of our windows at dawn, but I had to move with caution & keep to the shadows afraid I would encounter one of the death squads appointed to enforce that curfew myself finally reaching the first manhole cover I managed to find prying it up & vanishing fast as I could down to the relative safety below. . .once I had entered that refuge underground, I immediately began searching for the rebels who were hidden beneath our nation’s surface hoping that they would be able to help me escape the reach of our occupying government so that I could inhabit some distant free territory, but I did not find them easy to find since they had retreated into the most remote depths that subterranean network of tunnels could offer intent upon evading detection & capture by the authorities should they ever decide to mount a raid with the objective of eliminating their guerilla opposition. . .indeed, we knew from hushed rumors that had been whispered mouth to mouth about occasional mysterious attacks upon the invaders that had conquered our nation, attacks that had seemed to come from nowhere before the attackers retreated back to nowhere quickly as they had come, so I deduced from my failure to find immediate evidence of a human presence within the underground that the guerillas had descended deep as they could possibly go. . .
I descended as deep as I could go, but I still did not find any trace of the rebels I sought until I discovered a secret hole dug in the city’s lowest tunnel & after I dropped thru it, the faint light generated by a fire allowed me to realize that I had landed in the middle of the secret camp established by the guerillas for themselves so far below the surface of our invaded country they had reason to hope our foreign enemies would never detect it, no matter how many times the guerillas used it as a staging ground to carry out assaults against the forces that had occupied their native land above them. . .startled by my sudden presence in the middle of their camp, the guerillas nevertheless recovered almost immediately capturing & binding me with tight rope since they were suspicious that I might be an advance scout sent by their enemies, an advance scout who had been successful in penetrating their secret location, & they did not want to give me any chance to escape fearing that I would pass on information to the authorities that would lead to their destruction. . .once I had been immobilized, the guerillas began to question me, but because they mistrusted me, they at first refused to believe that I was also a rebel in opposition to the iron law our invaders had imposed upon us, so I remained their bound prisoner for weeks before they were convinced more by familiarity with me than any persuasion I was able to mount that I would not betray them & they let me go. . .
once the guerillas decided that they would trust me, they asked me if I would join them emerging from the underground at night to mount periodic attacks against the enemies who had occupied our nation & I responded by telling them that while I sympathized with their cause, my preference was to leave the nightmare of this invasion
behind me telling them that I had heard of an underground network I might use to reach another country without the possibility of detection, a network rumor said they had established & could make available to those they chose to help. . .the guerillas initially responded to my request with silence no doubt because they wanted me to stay with them & fight, but even though I knew what the silence meant, I did not feel inclined to reconsider what I said instead repeating my desire to leave this nightmare behind prompting the guerillas to tell me that their ideology demanded that they respect my right to make a free decision even if that decision failed to benefit their war of liberation but that they were only willing to show me the long tunnel I could take to reach another country, a tunnel dug by refugees who had gone before me, since they could not spare any men to protect me as I took my journey. . .
I had not expected I would not have the support of the guerillas to help me & guard me along the way, but I nevertheless decided that since I had to escape, I would take the journey alone, so I asked the guerillas to show me where the escape tunnel was & they informed me that I already knew since they had built their camp in the middle of it pointing out the direction that I needed to take in order to reach the other country I sought to inhabit. . .I was so eager to escape the tyranny that had come to devour my invaded country that I did not hesitate even a moment once I knew the way I needed to take to leave that tyranny behind expressing my gratitude & saying farewell to the guerillas on the fly as I began my journey determined to reach free territory as quickly as I could worried that my failure to report to the prison would trigger an investigation &
that the authorities would somehow discover & follow my trail hunting me down before I could reach the border & cross it. . .
even though my journey was so long it would take me at least a year to accomplish, I seldom stopped to eat or sleep only interrupting motion when I was on the verge of collapse & necessity demanded that I must or else risk imminent death, & even when the demands of nature forced me to halt my flight, the demands of terror soon ignited me to rise up & continue to push ahead hoping to complete my odyssey before the search party that possibly was in pursuit could chase me down & capture me knowing that our occupying government would make an example of me by sentencing me to public execution without trial since the action I was engaged in would be definite evidence that I was guilty of attempting to evade the iron regime imposed upon us by our enemies. . .when I tried to eat, my stomach was so disturbed by fear that I found it impossible to take more than a few bites at a sitting & when I tried to sleep, graphic nightmares of my own possible execution jolted me awake with such force that I could not remain still, but instead I was left with no choice other than to get up & move on with as much speed as I was able to muster convinced that my pursuers were less than a mile away & that I would surely fall into their hands if I dared to linger even five more minutes, a conviction that drove me until at last I was so broken by exhaustion that my legs gave way beneath me & I could not help but plunge into the deepest slumber as I sprawled across the ground, a slumber so deep that no nightmare could shatter
it. . .whenever I woke up after one of these collapses, I found it astonishing to realize that I had not been surrounded by my enemies, but my astonishment did not cause me to reach the conclusion that no one was pursuing me, so I needed no longer fear that danger would catch me from behind responding instead with the firm conviction that my arrest was only a moment away running away from my hunters even though I had no reason to believe that anyone was following me. . .
even after a year had passed & I could see the end of the tunnel in the distance with my naked eye, I was still looking over my shoulder expecting that my hunters would track me down & stop me before I could reach the border that I desired to cross terrified that I would not complete my odyssey though I could see no one behind me believing that I was not so alone as I seemed & that my pursuers had somehow evolved the ability to travel as phantoms, a power that they would use to crush me when they suddenly appeared to prevent me from successfully finishing the escape attempt I had mounted. . .once I neared the end of the tunnel, however, I began to shed my fear when no pursuers came to chase me down determined to prevent me from abandoning the tyranny our invaded country had become as I began to entertain the hope that soon I would be able to emerge from the underground to breathe the air of the free territory I had worked so hard to reach, a hope that ignited a surge of ecstasy inside me, a feeling that had been unfamiliar to me since the invasion happened. . .at last, I reached the end of the tunnel & I began the long climb up from the underground, my heart leaping in celebration now that I was returning to the surface world & I would see the sun again
after a long separation from it expecting that it would shine warmer & more luminous in the new country of liberation I had come to inhabit, an expectation that was frustrated when I completed my journey only to find that the invasion had spread & that the country I had worked so hard to reach would not provide me with the sanctuary I craved, a fact that was proven to me as soon as I stuck my head up thru the hole in the ground since I saw the natives were controlled & regulated by patrols of soldiers dressed in the same uniform worn by the army that had occupied the nation I came from. . .as soon as I realized that exposing myself above ground would place me under the yoke of the tyranny I sought to escape, I beat my retreat before I could be spotted & captured returning to the underground tunnel I thought I would be leaving behind me when I began my climb to the surface & as I was descending, I made the decision that I needed to engage myself in a reverse odyssey going back to the guerilla camp I abandoned now that I knew confrontation would be necessary if we were ever to escape the iron regimen imposed upon us by our enemies since that iron regimen must be broken, or we would never be free. . .