His chair faced the window but it didn’t matter, he was oblivious to the scenery. Likewise the TV, blaring to an audience that was not there. He was angry, madder than mad or as he would say, “I’m pissed! Don’t screw with me. If I could see, I’d smash it all up.” It’s said that each step you take leads to your planned destiny and a deviation of even one millimeter on any given day, will change your direction, opening up a new path, not as fortuitous, to finality. “Oh enough of this BS,” he thought. “I reached a finality. I’ll never see again, I’ll stumble around like a drunk in an eagle’s nest, destined to fall to my doom.”
It had started out like any other day, driving in a protected cocoon of armor, safe inside as long as you remained inside, not always a choice, circumstances being what they are. A logjam was just too perfect to be accidental but Jack prepared to get out while no need for his partner Buford to take a chance. As he stepped down the explosion threw him into the vehicle’s metal and the shrapnel rained or let’s say was propelled at 300 miles per. He remembered nothing until waking up to shadowless dark, was going to try rubbing his eyes but for some reason his hands seemed restrained. “What the hell?”
“I will be honest with you Sarge, no flowery crap,” the doc kept talking but Jack was not listening. “Your sight’s gone but your life is not. You gonna waste what’s left facing a wall or find what’s left, do something useful?” Jack thought useless would be about right for now. He could not even find the latrine alone.
Homecoming increased Jack’s despondency and he wished he could tell them all to get bent and leave him alone so he just let them know the door was open, please don’t let it hit you in the ass as you leave. “He’s got a real case of “poor, poor me” declared Dolores, his sister. She and Jack once were buddy-buddy but that had evaporated. “I understand it’s a shock to lose your sight but god almighty he could have lost his life! Something has to shake him out of this frame of mind!”
His physical therapist, Capt Marion Murphy was a drill sergeant in a skirt……well probably a skirt. She could have been wearing long johns for all Jack knew or cared, he thought. She had a one track mind though and her interests did not range beyond expounding on the perfection of guide dogs, of which Jack had absolutely no interest. “Hey lady, I can’t even find the ….. “. “Jack,” her raised voice commanded his attention, “that’s what guide dogs are for, they can read you like a book, determine what you want before you even know you want it.” This old boy needed some greasing of the wheels to get his mind moving again was Marion’s assessment. He’s been stuck in neutral so long he forgot how to roll forward. “Ma’am I do not care if a dog can change my diapers, I am not interested.” “We’ll see” whispered Marion under her breath. “What did you say?” “Nothing, nothing, just forgot to turn my mouth off. I figured one of us could still carry on a conversation, even if I had to talk to myself to do it”
Durriken walked in and inserted his head into Jack’s lap and the love affair began. “Durriken I think you and me need to go to school and learn how to spell dog, don’t you think?” The first complete sentence uttered since God’s dog was a pup!
Dont be surprised when walking of an evening, you might see a guy and his missus named Marion on a little stroll on the streets of Ft Hood, Marion’s duty station, with a well groomed dog named Durriken leading them on. These days Jack’s not stumbling around an eagle’s nest, he’s got a Peaceful, Easy Feeling. Didn’t the Eagles write something like that?