Members of the 126th Military Police Company of the New Mexico National Guard march to their waiting families and friends. More on flickr.

[Open on a typical college dorm room. Two guys sit on their respective bunks, talking while studying.]
Jeff: Before you moved in, did you wonder what it would be like?
Me: What do you mean?
Jeff: What did you expect it would be like when you got here?
Me: I didn’t really think about it much.
Jeff: Really?
Me: Yeah. I mean, I thought about it, but nothing real specific.
Jeff: What’d you think about?
Me: Well, I thought it would probably be kind of awkward at first but that we’d get to know each other and then it would be fun.
Jeff: It wasn’t too awkward, was it?
Me: No, but it wasn’t like it is now. Where we can just sit around and talk.
Jeff: Yeah.
Me: You look almost exactly like I thought you would, though.
Jeff: Really?
Me: Yeah. Swanson is a very blond-haired/blue-eyed name. And Craig told me that you were like, the state champ on your high school’s wrestling team, so I thought you’d be pretty built.
Jeff: Heh.
Me: What did you think it would be like?
Jeff: Kind of like it is. Except that I was hoping you would be fat.
Me: (laughing) Fat? Seriously? You wanted a fat roommate?
Jeff: Sort of.
Me: So I’d have food around all the time, or what?
Jeff: I guess. Really I hoped you’d be fat so we could wrestle.

---

During our time as roommates, I came to think of Jeff as a brother. Jeff returned from his tour of duty in Iraq at four in the morning on Saturday. He volunteered to go to Iraq a year and half ago because his friend in the National Guard got called up for duty and Jeff didn’t want him to have to go over there alone. That’s all you really need to know about Jeff to know why I love him (in a completely fraternal, non-weird way).

Welcome home, Jeff. I’ve got expectations for the future this time. They involve steaks on a barbecue, your son and my daughter playing in the yard, our wives doing wife stuff in the kitchen and toasting your health with a frosty brew.

4 Responses to “homecoming”

  1. # Anonymous aimee

    wife stuff? does that include preparing all the side dishes to go with the steak and washing the dishes? or is it more like ordering stuff online with your money? just curious  

  2. # Anonymous james

    depends on what wives (anonymous' or others) you are talking about...  

  3. # Anonymous chicken anonymous

    leave me out of the "wife stuff" discussion, but I'm glad I'm here and you are there  

  4. # Anonymous PLD

    a big tip of the hat to Jeff and the others from Philadelphia.  

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