Ten Years

Ten years ago, they terrorists beat me. I know, you think I’m crazy for even saying it, but it’s the truth. Ten years ago they succeeded in there mission to terrorize America and Me. The girl who lived on September 9, 2001 was mortally wounded the next morning and on September 13, 2001 they terrorists got their kill shot. Looking back now I don’t even remember that girl. I hear stories of her and have vague “feelings” of how she might have felt at one time or another. But the truth is…I don’t remember.

Looking back on the entire cluster-fuck that followed, the friends I’ve lost in my countries “quest” to right a wrong that can never be righted. Even a bullet to Bin Laden’s head only provided momentary satisfaction, for not a month later they got their revenge and more of my neighbors loved ones died. You can say, “they died heroically” all you want to me, and while I have nothing but respect for those who do what I was always to scared to do…it’s nothing but a meaningless platitude to me.

We started two wars we could not afford and one that was, quite frankly, just one grow boy’s mission to avenge his father. We’re bankrupt as a nation and now that we’re finally starting to pull back from those wars. What do our “heroes” have to come home to? A historic unemployment rate in America, a disgusting rate of unemployment amount Iraq & Afghanistan veterans and a completely broken economy. Something that this President won’t be able to fix, so I don’t blame him. I blame poor choices on the part of his predecessors. I will however admonish him for not sticking to his guns when he really should…but that’s a whole different essay.

Back to the bad guys winning…

Looking back on how I handled things I wonder why I tucked tail and ran. What about that day made me so afraid of the things that were good for me….that I quit? Was it even the terrorists or was I always headed that route? I guess I’ll never really know and I am finally coming to peace with that. It’s an ugly truth about myself that makes it hard to sleep sometimes.

The pills I took to try and “deal” with the situation toke the one time I was really set on being part of the fine team of men and women who see the deserts of the Middle East more than they do their families, from me. Back then if you even admitted to having been “depressed” you had to get a waiver. Trust me, it’s not easy to prove oneself sane. Definitely in my case, I’ve long maintained a comfortable psychosis.

These past ten years have been nothing but a roller-coaster for me. Had I had stuck with EMS, they’d have still been a roller coaster but at least then I would have had the happiness and sheer joy of never sleeping on Friday nights to drown myself in. (Pro-tip: If you had Chili for dinner…those chest pains are likely just gas! If this happens to you regularly…quit eating Chili.) But I’ve made do and I’m still here.

So I guess they didn’t really win…

What with my love for short skirts, foul language and cheeseburgers. They didn’t “defeat” America in a literal sense and they didn’t truly defeat what I stand for in the broad spectrum of being American. There have been times these past ten years where I was on the cliff and bent knees ready to jump, but some part of me lives on just to spite the things that put me on the edge. That goes for everything in my life.

If I’m still here and you’re still here, then I guess everything will be okay. Ten years later, I’m okay…and I’m finally ready to take back what the terrorists took from me: my peace of mind.
I may never find that girl again, but lately there have been moments I’ve stood on my patio in the rain and felt at peace.

Maybe in another ten years I’ll be completely at peace.

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