Monday, March 15, 2004

Somewhere out there is a war. Or whatever it is now.

Iraq has entered the gray courtyard of the national consciousness. Still too dangerous and too bloody and too unsettled to be forgotten. But too familiar now to always hold attention. Where there is shooting and dying but not always enough of it to lead the evening news.

That is what a year can do. With no conclusion, no happy ending, no exit line, no sunset to walk off into, the public is easily distracted. Gay couples are getting married at the courthouse, Haiti is a hot spot, Barry Bonds is being asked steroid questions. Events in Iraq must sometimes now fight for airtime.

Occasionally a plot twist from Baghdad comes out of the television screen. What'd they do now, attack a police station?

We stop, pause, take a closer look, and then get back to Martha Stewart.

Unless, of course, there is a son or husband or father or wife or daughter in Iraq. Then there is no gray area. And not a minute, worried day or wakeful night, when this is not a war.

There must be times they feel alone now. The loved ones at home, for whom Iraq is still the only story.
He's right. It is the only story. And although the number of days remaining in my own little hell is nearly down to the number of digits on my hands and feet, there is no comfort.

And there won't be until she is in my arms.

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