The things war makes you see

To this day my mind still reels with war’s usual kaleidoscope: dead kids splayed out, often in bits; screaming mates; crimson tides from al Qaeda suicide bombings creeping across asphalt. I still see … things.

Other things I cannot remember, even when told of them, but I know they haunt my sleep; I tore my left shoulder right out of its socket during a dream one Friday night; awakened by the hellish sound of someone screaming before realizing it was me. So, yes, I still see things.

Mired in a falsehood of self-medication, I applied blizzards of booze and drugs to buy me time. To get me from one dawn to another sleep. To give me the time to reconcile my decision to live. All stealing for me just one more day, one more day. Though in a perverted way it helped save me, it didn’t immunize me against the price for it all.

For now, I’m deprived of the right to see the boy I’m still here for, though he lives but blocks away and drives twice daily to school past my apartment.