i was at my homegroup AA meeting last night, and i saw a face i hadn’t seen in a long time. it was someone i had come to know over the last few years, but lost touch with because he had moved away to go to school in middle illinois and we just didn’t see each other like we had in the past. but i always had a great fondness for him. we always had a decent chemistry, even though if i were pressed to truly say, we had a lot of mismatched things about us. he was a military guy and our politics definitely were at odds when we talked about such matters. he certainly could turn a few heads (my lesbian friend, d, loves to say how hot he is), but there’s just something about him that i just really like. i had contemplated over the years trying to ‘make myself like him’ to see what it would be like to have sexual interest in him or to make myself have a crush on him or whatever, but it never really seemed like the thing to do. there’s just a really deep love i have for him. i can’t really explain it, since i don’t really even know that i know him that well. i’m sure that sounds crazy to most people.
anyway, i saw him and i was thrilled to see him and i put my hands on his face and gave him a hug and said how good it was to see him. i asked what he was up to and was he still in champaign and he said … “no. i’m in iraq.” and i was just stunned. firstly, because he *couldn’t* be in iraq. he was standing there before me, in my favorite meeting of alcoholics anonymous in the world. in a place of safety and comfort and filled with god. and i couldn’t make that make sense. and then, in a horribly selfish moment, i was struck by the idea that it has finally come to me. i finally have a person that i personally know, that i personally relate to, that i personally know their face, that i have personal memories of who could die there. and i grabbed his face again and moaned a bit. and freaked out some.
and then i told him we’d get barack in office, and true to form, he said he’d be voting for mccain. classic. but, i really freaked out. he said he was home for a couple of weeks because his dad was battling prostate cancer and he didn’t know how long he had. he told me that in his line of work, he really liked it there and that it was pretty good and that he wasn’t in a bad spot and it wasn’t hard and it was “a simple life.” he really didn’t seem to mind it much at all. he even seemed to enjoy it. ??
i told him … but not everyone is like that … and he agreed. i guess i am thankful that the person i know is in a good place and that he feels safe and comfortable. but the angst and terrible sadness i feel whenever i see someone in uniform is certainly not diminished. if nothing else, it has even more of a clear face put to those random strangers i see.
let’s just come home.