The New York Times:
A while ago, I was going through my files when I came across a cache of partly crumbled photographs. One was of me holding the sight box for the M252 mortar in Garden City, N.Y., parking lot. In another, I sat with Oum in the open hatch of a UH-1W at Camp White Horse, outside Nasiriyah, Iraq. There was another of me and the guys at the 2003 Marine Corps birthday ball. I looked like a boy in those photos. At the bottom of the stack I found one photo of us standing with First Sgt. Allen. I was wearing a set of borrowed Alphas; she wore a black evening gown, First Sergeant stood adorned in dress blues, everyone was smiling, teeth shining. I stared at it and whispered to myself, “very different times.”
I’d forgotten about these photos, until one night when I was at her house searching a shoebox and I came across the mangled photo album that had stored them for years. They were all there, near the letters we had sent each other while I was overseas. The photographs were wrinkled, crushed and forgotten like the discarded notions that had once been the impetus for “us.”
Very soon after, a sentiment of resentment splashed with a bit of melancholy began to rise within me so I gathered them and took them when I left.
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