The Curt Talker
16 April 2010 at 2:33 pm
The boy found a gun on the first man that he killed, and he took it with him. It was an incredibly intricate gun, probably worth thousands, probably given to the deceased by a father, probably a family heirloom.
“He was a rich guy, not a prince or anything, but just a wealthy guy who was fighting for what he believed it. I felt bad about that.”
“You were fighting for something you believed in, too. You just believed in contrary things.”
He told me about the first time he was hit by a bullet.
That wasn’t the hardest he’d ever been hit. The hardest he’d ever been hit was when the building he was in was bombed.
The first time he was hit by a bullet, it hit him in the chest but didn’t penetrate his body armor, which means it must have hit him from an angle. If it’d hit him straight on, he’d be dead.
It knocked him out, and when he came to minutes or hours later, someone asked him if he was ok. He was, so he was told to get back into the fight.
He stood up and wandered over to where someone else was shooting, and set up, and started shooting back. The fight was soon over. The bruise from the bullet covered his chest and he was off for a few days to heal.
Neither of them had to be there. They chose to be there, knowing that someone else would want them dead.
The boy felt bad because the man wasn’t trained. “He was shooting gangster-style, sideways. He didn’t know what he was doing.” That’s what life is all about: whoever knows less, dies. Like GI Joe: "...knowing is half the battle!"
He found a gun on him, an incredibly intricate gun encased in valuable gems. He tried to file paperwork to take it with him as a war trophy, but it’s hard to convince officials that a working weapon is worth transporting back to America for sentimental value.
Years later, he saw it in an office building, mounted as one would a fish or antlers, with a plaque indicating the month and year of battle from which it was taken. His name wasn’t anywhere on the plaque, even though there was documentation that he was responsible for it being in the American government’s possession.
He doesn’t tell this to many people because he doesn’t like the kinds of questions they ask. I didn’t ask what kinds of questions people ask. I didn't ask any questions. When someone is telling you something about the first time they killed someone, the point isn’t that they killed someone; the point is what they choose to say about it.
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