Posted 11-12-2003 at 01:25:00
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you can only go to the polls on election day - but you can vote with every dollar you spend, and fuel's way more important than who rides in front. :)
i'll tell you something about nam: some people saw me as a lousy soldier - or worse - and they were right too. but not always - i was a dam good soldier when i got there - i shot amd killed amd hacked and carved and cheered and waded thru gore right on cue.
but what do you do when your war's over, when you've kissed the fools' buts and obeyed the whims of the feudal lords, watched others keep dying trying to soothe perverted egoes, perfectly good young fellas get ripped up to obey suicidal commands sent forward by the inept, when you've invested every bit of energy and sacrificed every imaginable option for a piece of dirt, won it and they say pull out, when you've done all your sanity will allow and your innards draw a line and insist the killing has to stop? but you still have time left?
you already think yourself as dead that's what. they'd wanted a toy so they got one. i'm sorry my dreams no longer matched theirs and they wanted me to keep pleasing them but they'd wore their toy out - no matter how much they shouted or screamed or threatened, ya can't impress a stiff. the only way out was dying so i had died. i could make the new ones weap in frustration but tried to assure them my condition wasn't their fault.
if i thought they could learn to carry the weight of it, i let them in on my secret word - the most powerful one i know - "no". unique because you're the only one on charge of it, its clarity is timeless, you can't pass judgement on it, can't discipline the thing and even to the most polished lawers "no" is beyond debate. hand the world a "no" and you just won - they're stuck for an answer :)
oh i didn't get in the way - i was entertainment director! painted pretty verbal pictures for the doomed that could hear, and i knew every guy's story in the unit, i heard their words until they couldn't tell me, even when i couldn't understand what they were saying i knew how they felt and how important it was, i was the only one who listened.
see, in the absence of tomorrrow there was no more problem atall - only the blessed peace i'd been looking for - and nobody was more surprised than me when i walked off the ship, marched past the army of protestors and dared entertain dreams of home and tomorrow again - it was better than a miracle. maybe i'd even see my river - yup :)