Anyway the instructor seemed sound. That was good because sometimes they’re not and they think they’re all salty and are just God’s gift to the gun-toting community and you just haven’t been around long enough to have seen the incredible things they have seen and they are so much more than you will ever be. The funniest is when they are veterans and have had a combat tour and seem proud about that enemy marksmanship badge. My friend has a Purple Heart but will never admit it and neither would I if in fact I had one, which I certainly do NOT.
But this guy was modest and later we got off the subject and the military topic came up. He asked the class had any of us ever jumped out of an airplane before and my old friend just looked at me and pointed with his eyes to his breast pocket where the whiskey was and smiled and I remembered that cherry blast we had together when we got to Vicenza.
It was back when we were friends and peers and we said good-bye to each other just in case we should not make it to the ground alive and they made us drink a certain amount of beer beforehand for traditional reasons. I remembered how on that night I was so scared that I couldn’t get out far enough and so I bounced along the side of the aircraft a few times as I fell and how later at the bar all we could stand to drink was water and he told me the same thing happened to him. He winked at me and we didn’t raise our hands. Then someone made the old remark that they always make.
“What kind of a man is stupid enough to jump out of a perfectly good airplane? ”
The love of your life lives not too far from here. Really, she does. It’s just out the driveway, to the right a few minutes, then a left, and another left. You see the bar on the left, and if you’re like me you remember and smile for a second. Then you make two rights and pull over. You can see her truck there below. It’s ruggedly pretty. But you can’t get too close. So you park above and walk on down the grassy slope and press the doorbell, ding. She answers wearing a white robe. You’re nervous. She does that to you but won’t believe it when you tell her. She didn’t always do that to you. But that’s how it goes. It's that way now that you do not have her. I guess you never really know what you have until you no longer have it. That’s what they always say anyways. And I hate it but they’re always right.
Then “Time, time, time… See what’s become of me…” That’s from an old rock song.
Well this little boy came up to use the bathroom and had to wait because someone was already in it. The women started flirting with him because oh he was just so cute and they found out that he used to be five and now he is six. He was going to San Diego where he used to live but now he didn’t. He was going to see his Dad. The woman I could partially see was eating a sort of trail mix that had chocolate in it and she gave him some. I was hungry and wanted some but no one offered me any.
Then the boy went on talking and I got that feeling I sometimes get. It’s like going down a roller coaster hill when your insides try to stay where they are and to you they feel like they’re really trying to go up. Well this feeling was close to that except my insides were trying to go down. My body felt weightless on the outside and heavy on the inside and I tried to distract myself by wondering was that where the expression “with a heavy heart” came from.
I’ve learned to deal with it though and that doesn’t mean it’s easy. It can be pretty tough sometimes. You know my son turned six last month and before that he was five. And he keeps telling me every time I see him.
Then the headache came back. I was doing so good in the campaign and then the perimeter just began to fall. I had been dealing with that headache for at least a week. My reason called it a police action but I knew what it was. It was a war. I had won every single battle but some of them took a while to win and the allied forces suffered a few high ranking casualties. We had almost equal body counts though. I didn’t know how I forgot the pinche painkillers in the car but I did and so I asked the girl if she had anything for a headache. She said, “sure, ” and smiled and gave me two aspirin and a glass of water but she didn’t tell me to call her in the morning because she wasn’t a doctor she was a flight attendant.
sitting in weather
before a rain,