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We’re surrounded by smoke. It’s so thick that I feel as if I could scoop it out of the sky and stuff it in my go bag. I get lost in it. So lost, that my memories start to blend. I’m not sure if this is what it feels like for of the rest of you, but for me it’s like a stream of two separate lives that start to blend together.

Simple things, like I’m sitting in my car, and I feel like I’m squatting down in the gunners hatch of my Humvee. I’m crossing the bridge to get across town, and there I am on 14th July Bridge weaving through barricades and imagining what home feels like. Or I’m walking, but it’s incredible hot outside, and the buildings are patched together, Hodge podge metal mixed with brick, mixed with mud, bandaged with garbage. I can hear my boots scrape the sand. I look down I’m in flip flops, I panic because I don’t know where my weapon is; still, to this day same reflex. Makes me feel stupid. I can shake it off, but it sure does make for an exhausting day.

It’s when my brain is tired. Makes it more difficult. It takes longer, and very often I find myself with my face in the sink, pouring cold water on me to clear my head. Sometimes it works, sometimes not – and I am on the floor in the corner while I let the waves roll over me. Because, at one that point there’s nothing else to do but try and ride it out. It’s not always this way. Just every once in a while, like this last week. When the air is think as cotton candy, and the time has slipped so far beyond my grasp I can’t sleep.

I had a friend tell me one time “as long as I wake up breathing, I got a chance.” I’m one of the lucky ones. I wake up every day: beautiful wife, magical kids, fantastical friends – I have a chance. I hope you do too.


Give em Hell out there today, Terminators.



  • August 27, 2018
  • Ben Seims
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