War Poet.ca - A CFAP Project by Suzanne Steele

were they always there but I just didn't notice?

tonight at my local, standing to order scrumpy and my fav. beef and ale pie. behind me a guy just out of the svc. American officer. Iraq. A’stan. first para, then HQ. now studying history on the GI bill. and I see by his eyes he doesn’t quite know how anything fits anymore.

sort of like going home and everything familiar has been moved to the left or the right a few centimetres. not enough to really notice overtly that all has been changed, but enough to notice that everything’s not quite right. familiar but off. and off enough to be uncomfortable all the time.

I remember a guy I knew at university when I was doing my master degree. he told me about how unbeknownst to him his roommate was moving a poster on their ceiling just a fraction of a centimetre a day. my friend would come home late, get into bed, be relaxing and ready to go to sleep and would stare up at the poster and couldn’t quite figure out what was going on. one day it would seem normal, the next it was off. it nearly drove him crazy. literally. the prank of the moving picture actually troubled my friend deeply and caused him to doubt his sanity at one point.

well I think that’s how it is for some of the guys coming home and reentering civilian life. it’s all so familiar. a pub. an ale freshly pulled. a hamburger. and yet it’s all so alien. the war fighting inside the grey folds of brain, pushed back maybe yes, maybe no. the need for the familiar. but it just doesn’t feel so great. not now. maybe not ever.


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The page you're reading contains a single diary entry entitled were they always there but I just didn't notice?. It was posted here on October 20, 2011.

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