Saturday, February 24, 2007

Back to Iraq

This woke me up at 6:30 this morning out of a sound sleep, would't let me alone. So here it is.

On a West Texas highway, David’s telling Josh about his recent breakup
while driving to the airport.

“…And she just dumped me, just like that!” David snapped his fingers with a swift wrist flick towards Josh’s face. “Tore me up, I tell you what.”

Josh had been focused on the highway rushing beneath them, but the movement caught his eye, he turned to face his friend, uniformed body still seated at attention, cap and head swiveling smoothly towards him, eyes intent and locked on David.

“That good enough for you?”

David turned from his driving to face him a moment, his face a little shocked, before turning back to the road “Huh? Good enough for me… what the hell do you mean by that?”

Josh’s gaze hadn’t changed “I mean are you content to let your life just happen like that? Let things occur in it, let it process you like so many sausage links tied off into little sections… maybe cook ‘em up someday, savor the taste, swallow ‘em & shit ‘em out?”

David’s head flicked back towards his friend… shock turned to concern “What the hell Josh?”

“I’m going back to Iraq David. I don’t know if I’m coming back again. I don’t have time to let life just happen and move along… maybe do something with it latter, when I’m older. I think you think you do. But you don’t, it’s just that I realize it and you don’t. You could get killed today driving back home from the airport.”

David’s head flicked back again, a double take, but no words.

“It seems to me that you can let life happen, and go no further with it, or you can take what happens and go deeper… find some meaning there to make the moment of life you have, now, more.” His eyes were intense, drilling his friend. He caught himself and turned smoothly back to face the road. “I been thinking a lot, and it seems to me that the time we get is all we get,” he paused, silence somehow imposed over the blaring radio, “but we don’t have to let that time we get be all we get out of it… you can’t let it just happen without chewing it well, getting every bit of flavor out before swallowing.”

“How are you supposed…”

“Go get it Dave, take it, it’s there waiting for you…use your head, experience it. What happened when she dumped you? What did you think? Did it change you, do you like the change? Could you have done better? Are you going to allow it? Is there something else, some other meaning you can find in it for your life…Live it my friend, don’t just let it happen, ya know? Those are moments that can nourish your soul… or they can just happen and be forgotten” David nodded to the road, “Don’t just let it happen. thas all I’m sayin’ ”

The airport was coming into view, the radio continued to blare on in silence as David turned off on the exit ramp.

There. Now I'm going back to bed.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sometimes, that's just what it takes.

Nice little vignette, though. I think I'll pass it along to my boss at work.