Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Funny how things affect me ... 
I went to dinner last night at a nice French restaurant in the Miracle Mile area of Miami with some family, and it being Halloween, there were a lot of children running from business to business trick-or-treating. The staff at the restauraunt was dressed out in costume - the French waitress was dressed like Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, and another waitress was dressed like a Turkish harem girl. Then there was the bus boy.

The bus boy was dressed in black pajamas, with a black belt with a dagger in it, and a black bandana tied over his face. He was supposed to be a ninja, but he looked for all the world like Abu Musab Al Zarqawi, working a day job, or something. Definitely had some Jihadist chic going on. He was possibly middle-eastern, anyway. Brownish/black eyes, black hair, brown skin - would have fit in just fine in Ramadi.

I was laughing at myself, because as this guy came around refilling our water glasses, I was getting seriously creeped out. I mean, a major case of the 'get-this-f*cker-away from me's.'

I have enough self-awareness to keep things in perspective, and actually got a kick out of it, in my own perverse way.

I always notice roadside debris to this day. I always notice things that are out of place on the street, and it wasn't so long ago the sound of a trash can lid crashing down on top of a trash bin in an office right outside my door created a heavy, percussive sound and even an overpressure that sent my adrenaline soaring so fast I had to take a break and walk around the building.

Then there's the Fourth of July craziness, but it wasn't so bad last year. It's not the fireworks displays at night - though I never hear them with the same ears I used to. It's the lone bottle rocket that whizzes overhead out of nowhere in the middle of the day and then explodes that's kind of freaky.

No, I'm not debilitated, and no, I don't need years of 'group therapy' to 'process it.' It is what it is, and it's not a negative thing. Mostly, I find it sort of amusing.

Splash, out


To this day, 38 years after leaving Saigon, I still sit facing the door and avoid doing anything the same way three times in a row. Hey, they're good habits even if no one IS out to get you. :-)
Yeah, I always sit facing the door or room, too. ALWAYS.

I think that was my preference before going to Iraq, so I don't think they're neccessarily related.

One of our fellow Florida National Guardsmen was shot in the back in a Baghdad store while getting a soda or something, in 2003.
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