Monday, March 12, 2007

A boy grows up in an inconsequential town, somewhere in Middle America. The world is unknown to him, foreign things are largely foreign. In effect, the world is merely what surrounds him. Not unknown, he is unknowing. The lack of knowing restricts him from liking or disliking other "cultures," a concept he learns about later. He works to build understanding between blacks and whites in his town, unaware of what his actions actually mean.
Two planes strike some big buildings in a far off city. It seems like they were important. He doesn't know much, but he knows it's not right. He exits that room, and the event exits his world. It resurfaces when it gets tagged with a sexy name. Remember, he thinks, this will probably come up in college, whatever happens there.
He enters college. Nothing really happens his first year. He meets a foreigner.
His eyes open on what most others consider another suck-ass day of their suck-ass lives toiling in the office.
He crosses a border.
He can't speak the language. He can't read it either. The bus stops at some shop, his mind blanks. His friend orders him some bread and cheese. He can't finish it.
He nearly pukes. Long travel day, he tells himself.

A while after finally waking up, he seeks other borders. A letter arrives, he can work and study in the Middle East. He calls home, happy. His parents express reserve, but realize his dreams. He crosses another border, the Atlantic Ocean, and finds himself in Hell. At least that's what some people call it. He calls it Heaven. He lives in the Middle East for half a year for himself and others around him. He tells his parents how good of friends he has. He sends pictures home on occasion and tells his family he misses them, but that he's in good hands. It is time for him to return home. I'm leaving home to return home, he thinks. The irony is not lost on him. It is almost as hard as his departure. His mother is in tears upon his arrival. Thank God, she thinks. He survived.
He shows some more pictures, and tells a lot of stories. He speaks highly of his experience and wants others to realize what he did. He takes on a personal mission.

He graduates and gets offered a job back in the Middle East. It's exciting for him. His first step into it. He calls home, happy.
But now it's different. It isn't a glorified vacation. There aren't fortifications between him and "them." It doesn't cover every base. It involves some sacrifices. He's ready to make them. But this is different. It's dangerous there. The area is unstable. They don't think highly of Americans. What's different between this and a city like New York? It's different. His heart gets ripped from his body. A piece of him dies. One tear rolls down to the counter.

The clock ticks, breaking a silence. The sun sets. He wanders, lost.

Different.

God help us all.

6 Comments:

Blogger T-rent said...

Gotta cut your own path. Its tough, and seems unjust at times, but it is the way of the pioneer.

And, dude, an arepa is not bread. It is an experience.

7:34 PM  
Blogger simi said...

"And they don't like Americans there"...

Don't know how many times I heard "do you have to go to America? Americans are crazy! Look at their president. Do you really want to live there?" "They are only eating fast food." "They are so wasteful." Despite all those opinions I hear in Germany, I can live pretty well here in the US.
:-)

Go wherever YOU want to be. As long as you believe we're all human beings you'll be able to get along anywhere.

8:17 PM  
Blogger Jenna V said...

way to shake things up. I like it.

11:20 PM  
Blogger Preston said...

Don't forget the Secret Fire (your freedom) and where you end and others begin. You don't have to close your eyes and as the bullet enters your brain say, "I love Big Brother." That's when you lose.

If not even the human experience and locus of control are quantized at least somewhat, then I've learned nothing from science and Georgia Tech.

2:33 PM  
Blogger Hero said...

I'd just say fuck it and go bowling.

2:44 PM  
Blogger dturk said...

i would invite you to a turkish "house" it is more fulfilling. they love americans there.

3:46 PM  

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