Monday, August 09, 2004

My buddy, Won

Won and I met 6 years ago when she was out from California for a visit and I was still in the Navy. Just a quick hi, how are you, you're cool and I love your mom's Pad Thai. Then hardly saw each other for the next couple of years. I got out of the Navy and was attending school at Arizona Automotive Institute and received an associate of occupational science in Autotronic's and moved up to Prescott Arizona and started working the field. Around this same time, Won who was living in San Fran was going through some serious life changes and decided to relocate to the same town where my mom and her parents live with a population of 2000 people. Meanwhile I was working at a garage and hanging out with my best friend Larry. I had left the service with a bad taste in my mouth, my ex-wife was sleeping with one of my coworkers who was married with 4 kids and my command was taking her side trying to saying it was my fault. It was the highest stressed part of my life, I was slowly going crazy and went to work every day wanting to end somebody. So I did the proper thing and ran away. Took on a new mantle that had nothing to do with my prior life. By the time I arrived in Prescott I had been out of the Navy for a year and a half and did all the things that are not associated with being in the Navy, you know grow your hair long and such. My best friend Larry and I were attending weekly open mic poetry readings at one of the local watering holes. It's kind of like blogging in front of a crowd with a beer in your hand. Some of the best times of my life and I met some really good people who didn't believe I was ever in the military. Well I was out at my mom's house one weekend and ran into this dislocated and disoriented girl that looked to be going through some shell shock from her transplant from San Francisco (I think our parents were trying to get us to hook up). She seemed bit lost and depressed. This is a totally understandable reaction for having just moved to Seligman. The town has to be absorbed in steps, on Route 66 with it's odd characters and all the tackiness implied with that. She was a fish out of water so being the knightly figure that I imagined myself being, I placed her under my wing and took it upon myself to introduce her to the dark side of Prescott night life which included our Thursday night jaunts to the poetry reading. All she need was a finger to point her in the right direction and she was off, when she read people sat up and listened. Needless to say she's way smarter then I and after the first time she read there, she owned the place. Soon we were all hanging out all the time and just passing time. Then 9/11 happened and it made me take a hard look at my life, where was I going, I had a talent for helping people and nothing I was doing at that point in my life was helping anybody. I was coasting and when you're coasting, you're going downhill. So I made a visit to our local recruiter and signed back up. And our last weekly trip together to the Poetry reading, Won wrote this poem for me and after she was done reading it there wasn't a dry eye in the house. (I took this off her blog)

I say that he is joining in Navy
Or that he is moving away
Or that I'm helping him pack
I avoid saying
That he is going to war
And that I am scared
I avoid saying
That my heart is breaking
A thousand times all over again
I avoid saying
I can not take one more
Of my friends dying
I avoid screaming at God
How come you can't
Just leave me alone for a awhile
I try to put on my happy face
But I fail
I am proud of him
I love him
He is no longer sensitive ponytail man
He has been shorn into a beautiful
Monk, ready to sacrifice
Ready to jump to help the helpless
I admire him, but I still don't want him to go
I avoid telling him that may heart is breaking
A thousand times all over again
I am learning to pray ceaselessly to a deity
I'm not sure I really believe in
Keep him safe keep him safe keep him safe

I left her and Larry behind, our friendship hasn't lessened but that chapter of our life was over, don't worry Won, it's not the end of the story, love you.

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