My eyes are still wet as I watch Joe in the kitchen preparing food and telling me the story. At first it seems very unappropriate for the story to be told with some chuckles instead of tears and devastation, but it is his story to tell and in time his manner of telling it feels completely natural.
We had just finished watching a movie Blood Diamond. Throughout the movie I kept crying my heart out; next to me I heard Joe just sigh long and plain ‘f*ck’ for few times.
I know he has been in the army, but seeing him as sane, fun and non-traumatized guy I just assume his army time must have been merely trainings and shooting blanks. Well, yeah, I am aware that I am a naive guy living in fairytales.
A week after leaving the military training school he was hit by reality when there were real bullets flying over his head and shooting out of his gun too. That time and for many other times in the seven years he did not think he was going to come out of it alive. He was indeed killed in the war – at least his family was told so. They were mourning him before they were told it had been a misinformation.
I have a number of questions in my head but I am scared to ask; I don’t know whether I would want to know the answers. Joe continues his story and is already answering some of the questions I am afraid to ask.
Yes, he saw people dying. Many of them sank at the swamps. Some, as expected, were killed by bullets. Guys next to him were killed, his best friend there was killed.
Yes, a lot of what we saw in the movie, was how it happened. Rebels chopped off people’s hands, women were raped and killed or vice versa, children were turned into killing machines, and so on and so on. But there was a lot more that was not shown. People were cut open, their intestines were used as ropes at the rebel camps.
I can now only think of one question. How can anyone who has witnessed all that remain sane in mind?
Again, without me asking it, he answers my question.
Sure, life is precious, but.. this is how the life is. One can only try to get best out of the given life and to enjoy it as much as possible, despite all the unpleasant stuff in it, since we don’t know how long we have it left.
.. somehow he has the strength to look back at the military time and see the good things he experienced rather than all the stuff that scares the hell out of me.
Margus was in Russian army, but by the few comments I have heard from him, I don’t think I would dare to ask him more.