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casual ties

casual ties

no one had the courage to write his story. not even me.

each tour changed him, and somewhere between hearing one too many blasts and seeing one too many horrifying deaths caused by his hands, we knew he’d never be the same. those coffins were a play on words. he was the casualty. his wife and unborn children. they were the casualties. and us? we called ourselves the grateful, because we didn’t have the courage to knock on his door and ask the hard questions answered by hard eyes.

before the first tour he wanted to go back to school and later teach history at the local community college, but after the last battle he had just enough energy to be a dishwasher. when he got fired after six dishwasher jobs in six months his pregnant wife left him. he was so good at not showing his pain that he no longer had the desire to show anything. he never told her about the chemicals or how his hands shook and went numb without warning and how each dishwashing job led to dropping more plates than he could clean.

the va gave him a placebo prescription of more pain by leaving him in a three month waiting room.

no one called. no one visited. his number never came up in the end and no one, not even me, had the courage to hold the pen he couldn’t.

<a class="wp-block-button__link has-black-color has-text-color has-background" href="<a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_alchemical_essence_and_the_chemical_element_-_an_episode_in_the_quest_of_the_unchanging_(IA_b24927351).pdf">University of Glasgow. LibraryE-BOOK DOWNLOAD

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