Tonight I talked to Jane, my Iowa friend of almost 40 years, who I talk to enough that we are almost neighbors (or relatives) and I talked to Doug, a friend from the same era who I have talked to so infrequently over the years that we could be considered strangers. Except we aren't and the years fall away when we laugh.
Doug and I started working together, 40 years ago, when I was a very fresh from the patch Minnesota school teacher and he was a Vietnam veteran who lived in the attic of the old house where my school was housed. He had ghosts, terrible ghosts but we never talked about it then. I didn't know how to bring it up and I'm not sure he wanted to talk about it.
Tonight, after so many years, I heard him laugh again. I have a picture of him, taken in Viet Nam, a haunting image burned into my brain. War is a terrible thing we do to young men.