I am a battle-weary soldier, heading home.
Sergeant First Class Jerry Allen Bulford, "Bull" to my friends. Four years in "The Sandbox" is enough for anybody. I saw a lot in my time there and lost some good friends. Like on my last day "in country" before shipping home, I pulled convoy escort duty and we hit an IED. Three guys died, and four of my men were wounded.
I visited my wounded guys in the infirmary before I left, they were in a lot of pain. So zoned out on morphine I don't even think they knew I was there.
But I knew, that's what matters. I left behind that dry, dusty air. The foreign sights, the sounds and smells. It will be good to be home where things are green again, to smell the rain and her.
My Alisa, she always smells like flowers after a rain. Sweet, cool and clean. We got married three days before I shipped out. That was the hardest part, leaving her.
I sail over oceans dark and deep, jealously guarding their secrets. To the south lay the islands of Hawaii. We have a trip planned there when I return. At last, the coast of California comes in sight. Over my own country at last! Got diverted north at Kansas city, the remnants of a hurricane they say. Finally, I hit my little hometown.
There's Spicer's Grocery where I bagged groceries as a kid. My first job. Old man Spicer's sweeping the sidewalk. Just like he has every morning, for 30 years. The Royal movie theater where I got my first kiss from Alisa. Ryan's Barber Shop where I got my first haircut. I take a spin around the town square, remembering. But I can not linger here...
I head east out of town, to our one lane gravel road. I slow here, savoring the peace after so much war. The green of the grass, the joyous cacophony of birdsong. Then I can wait no longer... I rush up the road to the little white house at the end of the street.
I beat at the door. The screen door slapping makes a terrible racket. Like a vision, she appears before me, opening the door!
Rushing in, I bring tears to her eyes. I brush the hair from her shoulders and wrap myself around her, crushing her sundress tight against her. I breathe her in. Sweet, cool and clean. Oh, how I've missed her!
But she can not see me.
For I am the wind.
For I am the wind.
And she doesn't know that yet...