This is kind of a shock. I'm barely reading my own blog, and four people showed up today.
I wasn't going to blog any more for a while. I really don't have time, but here goes anyway.
I find myself in an odd position of having to keep my mouth shut about how I feel about having my son leave to risk his life for an immoral rich man's misadventure.* I'm not being silenced by neocons, although living in the red section of my red state, that's often how I feel about other issues -- silenced. Instead, I feel muzzled by what I can only think to call my own sense of decency. Except for talking to my friends -- bloggy and face-to-face -- I have to hold my silence. And I'm holding my silence with the people that I'd most like to talk to.
Let's start with Daughter. She's the most likely person I would talk to about such things, but this is her brother we're talking about. She's at least as invested in this as I am. Worse, her husband leaves for Afghanistan in a few months. So when we speak of this, I only say about a tenth of what I'm thinking.
Then there's Tall Son. Again, it's his brother, and it would be unfair of me to dump on him.
Then there's Indian Princess, Marine Son's wife, pregnant and with a not-quite-five-month-old at home. Enough said.
Mostly importantly, I have to remain silent with Marine Son. I'll be talking to him this weekend (by phone -- we're on opposite coasts). I have to say goodbye to him -- knowing that it might really be goodbye. (Of course, this is theoretically true of every goodbye, but usually we're not seeing people off on their trip into a circle of hell.) In such a conversation, it's not good form to express fury at the waste of it all. Not good form to complain. Not good form to say what I really want to say, which is I am terrified you won't come back -- or won't come back the same person. I am terrified you won't get to raise your children, you who have waited your entire adult life to have a child who could live with you. I am terrified for your younger children -- that they might never know you. I am terrified that you, who are one of the funniest, cleverest, noblest, most loving people I have known, will not
---it took me three minutes to type this word --
Anyway, that's a conversation I'm not allowed to indulge in. I know there are many people who do, but I can't be one of them. Except with a few friends. And except here.
What makes me uncomfortable is that this situation forces me to be dishonest, to be someone other than who I am.
But for the sake of other people's feelings, that's how it has to be.
*and if someone wanders in here and lectures me about the dangerous world we live in, that we have real enemies, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. -- I know that. I am referring to our vanity war, which has done nothing whatsoever to mitigate those problems.