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Life Arts

"ok"

By       Message Jim Bush     Permalink
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"ok"

He's down in the corner of the room now
There's blood and vomit running down the front of his T-shirt
His boxer shorts are pulled down around his knees
A urine puddle circles the area around his butt

He's mumbling something about "This god damned war!"
And "That f*cking b*tch!" and "I'll kill that f*cking bastard!"
He starts crying and slobber pours out of his mouth
And oozes down on to his co*k, which is dipping it's head
In and out of the puddle of urine, as he shakes and shudders.

The room stinks of blood, vomit, booze, and cigarettes
Clothes, cans, bottles, and blood stains cover the bed and floor
On the nightstand, next to the bed, are opened letters
One is from a woman. It starts out, " Dear Jimmy"
"I've tried to begin this letter so many times." "I prayed to God
To help me write it in a way that you would understand"
The other letter is from the DOD. It's another "Dear John" letter

He's alone now
Alone with his booze, vomit, blood, piss, tears
Confusion, fear, guilt, frustration, shame, anger
And loneliness

Not a mark on him
Nothing you can see
No scars
No limp
Not even a twitch or two

He can see it though
He can see the blood and brain
Splattered and sticking
All over one side of his cammies
Some of it was all over one side of his face
A small piece of brain had lodged itself between his lips
He remembers thinking that it tasted like cooked animal fat

Suddenly, there's a hard knock at the door
"This is the police!" "Open the door!"
"Sir, open the door!"

It all starts to become clear to him now
Everything has been leading up to this
This is the moment he's been waiting for
From that moment when he first picked up a weapon at boot camp
To this moment when he starts to reach for the 9 mil at his side
And everything that has happened in between
It all seems to be part of a trajectory of inevitability now

Then, another voice filters through the door...

"Jimmy?" "Hey Jimmy!"
"What's up buddy?"
"What's goin' on man?"
"This is Brad!"
"Talk to me buddy!"

"Brad?" "Is that really you?"

"Yeah, man...it's me"
"Open the door, will ya?"

"Let's talk, buddy"

"Let's talk, ok?"

He looks at the door
And then the gun in his hand
He studies the mess in the room

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Jim Bush is a 67 year old, Vietnam-era veteran, currently living in Texas. He was raised in a military family. His father received the Silver Star for directing troops while under air attack at Clark Field in the Phillipines, survived the Bataan (more...)
 

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