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Tethered with tears in their eyes…

July 6, 2006

Last week I was told about a story that another reporter ended up doing. This guy, well a kid, 21 years old and 21 of his buddies came down here from Louisiana to hang out in the beach, in Speedos for no particular reason. Well the particular reason I guess was that this kid was being sent off to Iraq for another 7 month tour of duty. I was thinking about war today when I thought about this kid and I’m not going to get preachy or anything, not going to make any kind of political statement because I just think it’s kind of obnoxious and not my place. I think about what effect war has on the people waging it. People on both ends of the barell are .. people. Not unlike me and you. I just wonder about these young men who go off to fight this war and they go to Iraq and see things and live in a reality that I could never fathom. Living every day knowing that it could be their day. Knowing that their convoy could be ambushed with an RPG or a roadside bomb could go off and kill or seriously injure them. I just wonder how, when all of that is over, they go back to being young men. How they go back to a life like the one we enjoy here. I would imagine that to some extent when you’ve seen that kind of stuff, everything else, all of life’s problems just become a little more trivial.

I was at work today and I was listening to the Under The Iron Sea podcast, which is basically Timothy Rice-Oxley explaining a little bit about each song on the record followed by a 90-second clip of that song. And I was listening to him talk about Hamburg Song, a song that is so heartbreakingly beautiful and sweet that it’s quickly become one of the songs on the soundtrack of my life for the past week and a half or so. And he talked about that song being about having people who act as the backstop in your life. About going out on adventures and making new friends but always having people you “call home”. And I think that I’m not one of these people that has ever had aspirations of being extremely popular. I think I’m lucky to have the people in my life that I do. But I think that’s such a pretty idea.

I feel like such a dork that I write and/or think about being in love so much. But when I think about it, what else is there? I mean really. Isn’t love, in some fashion, responsible for every choice we make. I really don’t think there’s anything greater than talking to someone who just gets you. Someone who understands what you’re trying to say even when you might not. Someone who could finish your sentences but doesn’t because it’s kind of obnoxious. Someone who likes your laugh or calls you “cute” or tells you that they’ll call you because they want hear about your day, for better or worse. I think life is about those relationships and about those quiet little moments when you hang up the phone, stare at it for a second.. and smile..

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