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Friday, June 8, 2012

Disabled Vets and Lovers Return - Excerpt Sequin Boy and Cindy

Sequin Boy and Cindy is the story of two young people who go to war, come home as disabled vets and their struggle to successfully reintegrate into civilian society. I think you will find it heartwarming and spiritually uplifting. Please check it out.

Cindy and I suffer a lot of phantom pain—when you think that the limb you lost is hurting—and when it rains our wounds hurt like hell, but other than an occasional over-the-counter extra strength Advil, we are pill free, and our love life is terrific again. I was a little shy at first about Cindy seeing my stump, but the heat of passion soon rids me of that hang-up. Cindy says she’s happy I haven’t lost any other body part. All of a sudden my gal has a sense of humor.

I think Cindy is getting used to the loss of her hand. She has an artificial one, but can’t really do much with the damn thing, which is really for cosmetic effect. Her face is another matter. The droop bothers her. She tries to hide it with her good hand. I keep kissing her face on the bad side, which only serves to make her remember that her face is deformed. Sometimes I’m not too swift.

Homecoming to the local community and our apartment is a gas. Our apartment is secure due to a liberal monthly disability allowance from the Army and a landlord that really feels sorry for the nice young couple who live there. When we get home, compliments of Army transportation all the way including a direct flight on an Air force C 17 cargo plane to an Air force base in New Jersey, and door-to-door Army Jeep service, we find the apartment stocked with every conceivable kind of food courtesy of our local merchants and the building super who let them in.  The refrigerator is full of fine French meats from the local butcher and a beautifully roasted chicken. The fruit store stocked the place with melons, lettuce, string beans, and out of season white peaches. The community has gotten together and bought us a real king sized bed whose mattress goes up and down electronically. Of course there are more cigars, which Cindy secretly smokes, all the latest magazines, and a gift certificate for Cindy to the local beauty parlor. She at first refuses to go, but I eventually convince her. I grab Cindy’s good hand and say, “Life is good. We’ll have to take a walk tomorrow and thank everybody for our great welcome home.”

We needn’t have bothered. The local community is planning a big home coming parade for us. We are a little embarrassed, but we feel great to be home. The only problem I have is when the snows came later in the month. There are four steps out front leading to our apartment and I tend to slip on my artificial limb. I have to lean on the guardrail to go up sideways grasping the railing for support, and walking together as a couple at first is awkward. I have to walk on Cindy’s left side to hold her good hand and that means my artificial limb on my right leg is on the inside. I still use a cane. We practice together and work it out. Both of us use each other for support and I keep the cane in my left hand.

One morning, a few days after we came home, Cindy wakes to find me lying on my side of the bed facing her and listening to her breath. Tears are running down my cheeks. “I thought I lost you in Iran. I was so scared, I didn’t want to live without you,” I say.


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