By Helene Cixous, Catherine A. F. Macgillivray
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That first tour had been hell—going from house to house, searching for insurgents, never knowing when you were going to get shot. And it was hard to tell the insurgents from everyone else. They blended with the populace. In Iraq, everyone looked like a civilian, and all of them—friendly or otherwise— had weapons. Just because a family had an old Kalashnikov tucked away inside their cupboard, it didn’t mean they were the enemy. That would have been like rounding up and arresting every hunter in Brinkley Springs who owned a deer rifle.
Now they were gone, just like Diane—passed away or moved on, living in a retirement community or with their kids or, in the case of some of his younger neighbors, some place where the economy was better and taxes were lower and jobs still existed. He wondered what would happen to his house when he died. Would it sit here like all these others, dying slowly from wood rot and neglect? These were supposed to be his golden years, but in Axel’s experience, the only thing ever gold in color was piss.
Three . . come on, you crazy little things. Sing for me. He shivered. The air was growing chillier. His skin prickled and the hair on his arms felt charged. The Sullivans’ screen door banged open. Jean poked her head out. “Axel,” she called. ” “I believe it may be out all over, Jean. Looks like Esther’s is out, too. ” “Well, that’s a relief. ” Shaking her head, she went back inside. Axel strained his ears and heard her soothing Bobby. Then he went back to counting. Four . . five . . six .
First Days of the Year (Emergent Literatures Series) by Helene Cixous, Catherine A. F. Macgillivray