Monday, July 18, 2011

man, I'm sick of this

I am chugging up hills on my power walk, arms pumping, legs feeling like rubber bands, Ipod feeding
Beatles into my inner brain.  I am sweating and little gnats are whirling in my face and maybe I should move farther north.  And then the morning's headlines from the local paper flash into my head and I feel a tipsy gratitude that I can move these limbs at all.

 "Two wounded 133rd soldiers return to the tri-state area."  It's the photograph that takes my breath,  leaves me simmering.  The boy is nineteen years old, still in his camouflage uniform, his legs tied together, feet in giant booties like my nursing home residents wear to avoid skin ulcers.  He is paralyzed from the chest on down.  His relatives walk behind him, eyes looking at the pavement, faces stony, impeccably grieved, wanting to be gone from this crowded place. A biker guy is pumping the kid's hand, a bandanna tied around his greying hair, his leathers boast his Viet Nam participation and the boy is very scared.  His childlike face looks into the toughness of the veteran and he can't comprehend his incredibly tragic situation.

Cory will return to his home in Earlville, Iowa, a storybook kind of town and this manufactured glamor will pass. His friends will move on with their  families, watching their kids win athletic competitions and go to proms. Cory will spend years learning how to operate a body that has ceased to operate.  He will have memories of running across fields, diving into cool lakes, just pictures in his brain.

How do you not feel your legs, your stomach grumblings, your lower back ache after a hard day's work, your sexual tugs?  This kid's reality overwhelms me. I didn't know a damn thing when I was nineteen, no one does.

I thought Obama would get those kids out sooner, I was wrong.  I will continue to vote Democratic because it makes sense, but once again this American is disillusioned, Kennedy was an adulterer and crap like that.

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