Sitting on a park bench in Santa Fe, contemplating what is worthwhile and remembering Algiers.
Flashback to a childhood encounter with a
Legionnaire helps bring the recent past
and today into perspective.
Algiers, Algeria. I asked him how a country could have a city named the same thing as the country, but he ignored me. He was smoking an ugly smelling foreign cigarette and wearing a pair of pants that were bloused into shiny black combat boots. Paratrooper boots…….
Audio Version of Algiers by James Strauss.
” You don’t think I have it coming? ” Those are the words of one of my ghosts, James. A man who actually wanted I pay him for “thinking”? Thinking “our way” through to a viable strategy for dealing with the full court press recently directed at me in my workplace. Designed by management to result in the loss of my job which I’d created and been working for the last eighteen years. The payment for his time…”Twenty dollars a day and found!” he’d say without hesitation.That question was mine to answer and I did by hiring him as my as my personal advocate for the last two years of the three neither he nor I knew he had left in this world. As it turned out the man saved my job. He cured my depression, he improved my self-esteem, and he even promised me as his brother that we’d meet again later, at some point after this was all over, on a bright sandy seashore our glasses raised high to the sunset, to toast all the ghosts of our past. Because surely by that time, we’d both be free of them. “I’m alright…aren’t I?”
Yes James,you are…and I for one,think you’ve always had it coming!
Brilliant stuff, as usual, D.D. Thanks so much for the entertainment I get in reading your comments!
And the compliments, of course…
Not all of us have ghosts, but there are times in our lives where you can see how one moment in time has effected our lives. Keep up your great writing.
Thank you Edward, that was a pretty well worded and meaningful comment.
I am still thinking about it as I write. “Not all of us have ghosts…”
and I wonder. Are there some out there that don’t have them around?
I don’t know about that, but appreciate your commenting and reading the story.
Beautiful, touching story. Very nice.
Thank you Daniel. A lot of my work deals with variations of PTSD and how we try to
accommodate regular phenomenal life after being exposed to that ‘other’ world.
Thanks for the comment and for the read…
Funny, how ghosts mold us.
I am not certain everyone has ghosts, and if they do, I am not certain that everyone has the kind
that still hunt at night out there in the forest…with the likes of those still living. I do not hunt
for animal life. i hunt only around the locality of the forest nearby to protect, to encounter and
to satiate that strange paranoid need to remain ever alert, waiting for nothing but maybe not.
Thanks for the comment and making me think about that…
Brought back memories of myself as a small boy in Utah standing by the railroad tracks in about 1953 waving to the troop trains as they headed to places I hadn’t yet heard of and the troops waving wildly at me. I know now that they were hoping to come home from Korea to tbier own boys of familys and that is what they thought they were fighting for Nut they were wrong. They were fighting for politics.
Well Frank, yes and know. Actually, like a lot of us, they probably got there because of politics but they
didn’t choose to go because of it. They chose to go because of family, friends and country…and for the
adventure of the unknown and probably unbelieved. They got there and ended up fighting to stay alive and
for the guys around them. More arcane, my definition of causality but then, I can run on…
No more accurate, most likely…
Spot-On Mr Strauss. Semper Fi. Your books are great reading. Thanks a bunch.
Thanks K. Means a lot to me that guys like you comment and say stuff like that.
They next chapter should be up tonight at the latest.
Exactly why I took the oath in ’89 only to head to Desert Shield/Storm for Kuwait. Before going I’d never even heard of that country.
Thanks for the cogent comment Dustin and for reading one of the short
stories on my site. Not too many do, at least not yet!