First there was the car accident. Then my wife got really sick. Then as she was mending, I got really sick with the streptococcal pneumonia that I caught from her. Then the water supply line into the house broke. It left me wondering what’s next? Meteor strike if my luck holds out.
Yesterday, the other shoe dropped.One of my best friendships of years ended yesterday.
It started innocently enough. He’s a Republican and I’m a Democrat, but that never really mattered that much. It led to some great conversations over the years. When you’re on an Observation Post, or a road checkpoint bored out of your skull, you talk about EVERYTHING.
So yesterday, he asks me if I’m voting for Obama or Romney. I reply that for dozens of reasons, I’m voting for Obama. He asked what was my major problem with Romney. So I told him. It wasn’t the clueless rich guy thing and it wasn’t the vulture capitalist thing, but those were certainly contributing factors. It was the fact that he says whatever he thinks the people sitting in front of him at that moment want to hear. It was how he’s had multiple positions on things, and that this wasn’t a political evolution from one belief to another, but a chameleon thing to get elected.
This is a man whom I’ve pulled from a burning truck. Who only days later threw me down and jumped on top of me in a mortar attack. I told him that I could not and would not vote for a man who has no honor, integrity, or moral compass, and that I couldn’t understand how a man like Jon who has these things in spades could. I told him I couldn’t understand how he couldn’t articulate what it is that he hates so much about the President, and that I feared it was because the President is a black man. I told him that I hoped and prayed that I was wrong. I left it there. I mean, we’re at the question now, and it’s a question that I don’t ever want to ask somebody, because I’m not sure I’ll like the result.
When I came back later to post something on his Facebook wall–a picture of the two of us in some desert or other, I found that he had unfriended me. This is man with whom I’ve shared the best and the worst of me, who knows as much or more about me than my wife, and we can’t work this out. My brother is gone.
Like I was telling Imani, I’m 42 years old, and I’ve seen and experienced things that have burned my soul, and I can’t stop crying about this.