Grants Pass, Oregon
I find a small coffee shop that has free wireless and organic tea so I settle in for a few hours of email, sending out an alert about the actions at the military recruiting station, and blogging.
I sit with my back to the door, an unusual place for me to choose, but the only electrical outlet available is at a booth table. The booth is way too low for working at on a keyboard so I have to pull up a chair – thus my back is to the door. It is not a comfortable position but I am not here for long.
A young womon squeezes into the adjoining booth as she asks me if it’s okay if she sits there. I assure her it’s fine.
She hesitates to sit, clears her throat and asks me if that’s my car outside, gesturing toward the window and parking lot.
I am surprised. I do not have my truck, just a little dark blue Honda that Chris would be horrified to know I have stuck a CodePINK bumper stick on and I have written on hot pink paper “120 U.S. Soldiers committed suicide – THIS WEEK” and “Bring ‘em Home NOW”
I swivel around, thinking maybe there’s a car with lights on or what? Then I look at her, take in her serious, pained eyes, and say, yes, it is my car.
She is shaking, she smiles feebly and confesses that she served in the first attack, Desert Storm. She was there twice and after the second time she returned home, she wasn’t sure she was going to make it either, like those 120.
She stutters, “I…, I…. was there, I…. know”
I get up, we embrace, a tight, long hug. We hold each other, weeping, weeping. She is so young, so pretty, so hurt. I whisper she will be okay now and then wonder as I say it if that is true, if that’s what she needs to hear. I ask her how things are now for her.
She doesn’t answer. She tells me she didn’t realize how much she needed that. She didn’t know that today was going to be her lucky day.
I want to wrap her up, put her in that car, and take her back to womyn’s land with me.
She introduces me to the young man, white with dreaded hair, standing quietly, smiling broadly, bouncing from foot to foot, waiting patiently for Amber to return to him.
She thanks me, an open ended thank you. I thank her and try to pour all my love, support, healing into her heart.
I return to this car, put my computer securely in the back, and go to unlock my door. There is a huge glob of steamy spit on the driver’s side window. It is hovering there like it just landed. I look around in the darkness. I am on the street parked in front of a darkened building and there is little light showing. I see no one yet I know it cannot be long since this angry fellow projected his body fluids onto my vehicle.
I regret the opportunity to ask him what has made him so mad and propelled him to do such a gross act – but I cannot find him.