When you have 30 seconds at a gas station in the middle
of nowhere, texas and a young brown man in military gear is happily running
around his vehicle, pumping gas, stretching arms, smiling like the world is
his, as it should be at his age.
But I have to tell him something probably no one else in
his life has said to him – well, maybe his mom or maybe his girlfriend or
boyfriend, if he has one – QUIT!
Instead I ask him why the hell is he in the military? His
broad smile falters a little, black eyes glittering then unsure. He chokes out
a little laugh, calls me “ma’am” as he attempts to be proud of his uniform.
I tell him he is going to kill people. He actually re-finds
his broad smile as he says with great confidence, nah, ma’am, he’s not going to
The stern older man who the soldier seems to be a younger
clone of, starts stomping closer to get between us.
I say in my most authoritative voice “of course you’re
going to kill. The military has probably already taught you to kill. Don’t do
He tells me he won’t have the chance to kill cause he’s
gonna retire by the time he’s 40 so no worries there.
I tell him abruptly, swinging my car door open, “if you
live to see 40”.