2007 - April - Age 39
I do wonder as I sit here and write this whether or not youve ever come home from that place you left so long ago, or do you still have those demons scratching at your shoulder blades? You always thought you were too old, too mature, too experienced, too insightful, and too exposed to be damaged in that way. Even two years later you are still haunted, or should I say now that two years have passed you are haunted. Still too bitter at the betrayal? Too emptied by the realization and confirmation of your own expendability?
When I write you this letter you are just turning 39. I know you have seen the people around you grow wealthier and more blissful while you were gone. I know you have seen your own family strain and suffer, your children changed and grown too soon by their weeping. And I know you still remember that while you scrambled to make up for lost time, lost opportunity, and lost affection, your country went on merrily, couched in its incredible and invisible luxuries. You lost even the last and most fundamental of your well honed and necessary delusions. It has made you hollow and angry and sad and left you carrying a biting and bitter despair for your lost optimism and your lost self. Worse yet, it has made you care less.
Two years today I have been back. I write this today to remind you of where you were. I write this in the hopes that when you read it again, you will be able to see how far you have come. By writing this to you someday in the future, I hope to return to the me of today a sense of that tomorrow that you, or this idea of you, represents. I send this to you in the future hoping that you have at last come back from Iraq. If you are reading this, then you have at last come home.