He sat and stared at his computer screen. He was supposed to be some kind of writer. He wanted to write. He wanted to tell stories, and write books, and make people think.
Like a puppy pushing a ball to his feet, the black cursor flashed at him, reminding him it’s time to play.
He sat. So many stories left to tell, but no words came.
He started to type.
It was April 29th, 2008, and it was one of our craziest firefights yet. We were in Sadr City, and they had just blown up our company commander’s vehicle. There was a blind man trying to cross the street in the middle of this gun battle, and…
It was a story he wanted to tell, but he couldn’t figure out how to start it. He held the backspace button down until the words were gone, leaving the story for another day.
We were on our way to an early 4th of July celebration when a man in a white Dodge Ram ran a stop-sign and nearly hit us. I accelerated, in an effort to save my children…
Backspace……………………………………. It could be a story, but he can’t figure out how to make a narrowly avoided accident into something interesting and meaningful.
A young man walks into the room wearing a backwards cap.
He looks up and wonders why kids don’t take their hats off when they enter buildings anymore. Isn’t that what they are supposed to do? This kid’s ball cap is camouflage and has a piece of tan Velcro above the brim on what should be the front. It isn’t a military hat, but it is made to look like one.
This must be the military style. I’ll bet he wears it when he plays Call of Duty. He is reminded of his own hat that is made like this. It has an infrared reflective American flag on that piece of tan Velcro on the front. It also has his name and blood type on it. He used to have his blood type on everything; boots, gloves, dog tags. It is strange for him to think about a time when death and dismemberment was just part of the job. He never knew when it might happen, but he always expected that it probably would.
My daughter acted like a horrible little monster when I was putting her to bed last night. She screamed and cried, and threw her pink stuffed rabbit at me…
He clears the screen again. What the hell kind of story is that?
The cursor keeps blinking at him. By now, he would have told his dog to go and lie down.
He closes his eyes and rubs them.