Arab Spring Break
Credit: Courtesy Chris Jeon
"Ahmed, you smoke hashish?" Jeon's second day with his battalion was spent brazenly driving into small desert towns in an attempt to flush out pockets of Qaddafi loyalists by drawing enemy fire. No shots had been fired, but the stress was evident as the rebels passed around the dirty plastic soda bottle they used as a water pipe. When it came to Jeon, he hesitated. He had never done any drugs. It was then that he decided to institute what he called a "yeah, man" policy.

"Yeah, man," he said, taking a hit. "I smoke hash."

The next night, the battalion drove to a darkened four-story mansion on the sea. Commander Absalam blasted off the mansion's door handle, and they walked in. The place had been hastily abandoned. Absalam explained that the only people who lived in houses this nice were people who cooperated with the regime. Therefore, everything in the house was now rebel property.

Clothes still hung in the closets, and there was food in the refrigerator. The rebels grabbed the food and rifled through drawers. Jeon saw a toothbrush lying in the master bath and pocketed it. He hadn't brushed in days, and he could hear his orthodontist father's voice nagging in his head.

Hanging on the wall of the living room was a shiny new flatscreen TV. Mansur, a rebel in his late twenties, handed Jeon a hammer and an AK-47. Jeon was confused.

"That's a good TV," he said. "Why not take it?"

"Qaddafi people, they hurt my father. They hurt my mother," Mansur said. "This is Qaddafi people. Fuck this house."

Jeon felt the weight of the gun in his hands and looked around the room. The leather couches were big and new. Chandeliers hung from the ceiling. It reminded him of all the McMansions back in Ladera Ranch.

He took a hammer to the TV, and then aimed the gun. He pulled the trigger, watching as the chandeliers shattered and crashed to the ground.