Nothing else matters
They let me see a window if I tell them what they want to hear.
I have to give them names so they know I didnít make the stuff up.
Iím one of them turned bad, though once a long time ago I waved flags just like they do now.
Maybe I got jealous of my school chums who made money while I got nods for my patriotism.
Of course, I didnít just jump in, I started taking a little on the sly, dealing bits of information to the soviets when we all sort of winked at each other.
All that saber rattling was to keep our own people back home happy Ė and controlled.
I didnít do much at the beginning.
I just took a tip here and there so I could meet a car payment at home or pay something towards my kidsí college.
Later, after the Cold War ended, the trouble began.
I never intended to deal with terrorists. But old networks became new networks and new networks knew my name.
I tried to stop when I found out, who they were and what they stood for.
Even when they threatened to turn me in, I refused, telling them no one would believe them anyway.
I figured I could bluff my way out of things and they would move on.
They killed my eldest kid at school.
The authorities ruled the fire an accident, but I knew better.
The note said my wife and daughter would be next.
I gave in.
Whatever they asked for, I got them.
I tried not to think about the dead when I heard about the bombings.
After all, it was my family or someone elseís.
Deep down, I knew it could not go on like that forever.
I heard the chatter on the official wires, and saw the noose slowly closing in around me.
Our side is very good at tracing things.
I begged my contacts to protect me, and said if I got busted I would have to give them up, too.
Thatís when I lost my daughter.
Hit by a car as a warning, telling me that if I gave them up while I was in jail, my wife would be next.
So I keep silent. Even in the dark. Even when the CIA men donít allow me to sleep or sit or even use the toilet.
I suppose I could ask them to protect my wife.
But I keep thinking about other people like me in the government the CIA hasnít yet uncovered, men who still have wives and children, men who care as little about what happens to me and my wife as I did about the victims of bombs, protecting their families at my expense.
Iíll keep silent until a more permanent silence takes me.
By then, nothing will matter any more anyway.