by Walter Bego
“I loved it. I loved the sound. I loved the frozen moment. Nothing else on the earth was moving except me.”
I tried to see the Frankie I’d always known in this man across from me - the goofy kid that used to use my shoes as puppets – the tubby preteen pest that never let me spend two minutes alone with my girlfriend.
Was he even there inside lean muscular man with the hard eyes talking about how much he enjoyed killing another man with his bare hands?
“I never wanted to go,” said Frankie. “I didn’t want to go the second deployment or the third either.” He laughed a rough laugh, coarse like he carved it with his boot knife. “Now I wanna go back. ‘No, son,’ they tell me. ‘We can’t have you liking it. We’ll send over some poor bastard with a kid on the way instead.’”
Frankie sipped his bourbon – gently – not tossing it back like a bad ass is supposed to. Damn, if that wasn’t the scariest thing about this whole fucking conversation.
My baby brother – and watching him sip bourbon scared the shit out of me.