(Author’s note: August and September are typically busy times for me at work, so my output may be less… not that it’s much of a departure from previous. Here’s today’s Fictioneers!)
Walking On A Thin Line
by Miles H. Rost
Stewart grabbed his handkerchief and wiped his eyes.
He didn’t want to cry. Seeing the bald eagle that landed on the memorial above him, though, broke everything.
He remembered walking off the plane all those years ago.
The spit. The urine.
The look of disgust on the faces of his classmates when they came to visit his mother, and found him there.
The days alone in his apartment, wondering if that day was his last.
It started looking up when Kristi entered his life, but there was still those memories.
It was this day, though, where that eagle validated everything.
Something deeper here to understand, that I’ve missed. But nice reflective piece.
The music and the fiction work together on this one. Think about the history involved.
The story brings tears to my eyes just hearing it. Reminds me of my Big Bro coming home from ‘Nam to eggs and tomatoes being thrown, also to the many wounded ones who are still returning.
Huey Lewis explained that was the exact feeling he got when he was creating “Walking On A Thin Line”. A story of the Vietnam Veteran who didn’t truly make it home, still fighting it in his head. It was the inspiration, as well as the stories from my Dad (a peacetime Vet.)
My brother was in Nam… fought the experience until his death. My best bud and ‘adopted’ bro was a Nam sharpshooter. I don’t know where I’d be without his calm help and teachings. Many of my ‘adopted’ dads were vets from Nam and Korea as well… I treasure each and every one of them…even the ones that’ve slammed me to wall during a flashback…maybe them, moreso.
This is profound and very moving.
History has a tendency to do that. I like to think of Stewart as one of the ones who survived the war all the way through, unlike many Vietnam Combat Vets who got out of the jungles, but ended up swallowed by the concrete jungle of home.
This story packs quite a punch. The eagle represents everything he gave his innocence up for, and in that moment of symbolism, he’s free to grieve and acknowledge the worth of what he and his friends had fought for. Wonderfully written.
This, right here, is a great assessment of how he’s feeling. And how he was able to release all of it right there. It did take a long road to get there, though. Well done in your analysis. 🙂
Extremely poignant piece, well written
Having a Vietnam Vet in the family helped out with some of the source material.
Poignant. I think. you had to have been there to really understand this one, Miles. I remember.
My uncles, who were there, read this and both of them said “You heard us.” Sometimes, the writer can get it correct even though they weren’t even born yet. 🙂