There goes 2006
Well it’s the last day of 2006. I hear tomorrow will be the first day of 2007.
I spent most of the year at war, so I don’t remember most of it as actual time–more like the seconds before a doctor sticks you with a needle. You sort of hold the whole damn enterprise at a wincing arm’s length distance.
There’s a small burning pain and you’re done–either in good health or dead. That’s the way war is if you’re lucky. Otherwise you hold on to the memories, the smells, the sights, and it hangs on and stains you like melting wax.
Now that we’re back, some people talk about it like it was a bit of initiation and use the fact that newly arrived personnel didn’t go with us, and so aren’t as “in” as we are. You can rail on about how people who brag about war weren’t really AT war, but that’s beside the point. Damage done, point conceded, people make up their own minds, regardless of reality.
My neighbor talks about losing a few friends and his platoon leader, sitting on our porch, dragging the moment’s cigarette in the evening drizzle.
“Hot for December, eh?” I say after a bit of reflection. “Yeah, I don’t mind it, though, and my daughter is traveling, so I’d rather it not snow.” I see him and I a bit more pensive than we should be, in light of comfortable America and excess.
Here’s to leaving 2006 in the past. God help those still there.