The adventures, escapades, undertakings, trips, experiences, narratives, soliloquies, capers, flings, follies, shenanigans, poetry, speeches, rollicks, gambols, skylarking, merriment, monkeyshines and larks
of our family as we traipse, trip and tango our way around the globe!
Conrad liked seeing them like this: sleep was like salary, his men
Read more at location 51
The last four years were being dismantled around him, subsiding,
melting away in a silent cascade. Their shared life was over: from now on, for
the rest of their lives, they would share only a past, never the present. It
was as though Jackson himself were vanishing before his eyes. Though what they
shared would always be there. Part of their life was fluid, part fixed.
Read more at location 514
All this was invaluable battlefield training: no other city-states
offered practice killings.
Read more at location 754
Sparta’s rigidity in obeying its own strict laws was finally the
cause of its downfall.
Read more at location 766
If the Marines are the surgical tool of war, the scalpel, the Army
is the blunt instrument, the sledgehammer.
Read more at location 1014
There was the question of appropriate behavior. Conrad was an
officer; he couldn’t talk to every laborer with broken shoes who had read
Homer. And he couldn’t consider every question that arose and challenged his
moral right to be in Iraq. He was there to carry out the mission, to obey his
commanding officers in a branch of service he deeply respected. He was doing
his duty. There was the question of why the U.S. forces had destroyed this
country. The question of why they were treating their allies—the people they
had come here to liberate and protect—with such deep and lethal contempt. The
question of whether what they were doing was honorable.
Read more at location 1336
The others laughed. Conrad laughed with them, but it was like
watching a movie. After a moment Jenny turned to him.
Read more at location 1460
“So, Con, tell. What was it like?” They all wanted something. They
all wanted to draw him home, into their world, and they all wanted to enter his
world, but in a safe way. They wanted funny stories and brave ones, scary ones
only if they were bearable. They wanted their hearts wrung, but in a tolerable
way. They wanted to learn that his world was safe, or, if not safe, that it was
livable after all. They wanted to hear stories here, from the safety of the
kitchen table, and who could blame them? Why would he impose on them what he
knew? Why bring the black bloom of explosions into their eyes? Make them hear
the sounds he had heard coming from human beings?Read more at location 1461
He told Ollie and Jenny briefly, too, about being hit by an IED.
He knew they wanted to hear it, though there wasn’t much to tell. Being hit
wasn’t a story like a firefight; it was an existential occurrence. You were
driving along and the world was normal, and then it was black and filled with
sound, and you were lost.
Read more at location 1501
But letters you carried with you, you kept them in your pocket or
under your pillow, if you had one. You put them inside your helmet, or just
inside your seabag, or in your boot or your locker, someplace where they were
safe and you could touch them. Sometimes you just wanted to run your fingertips
across the envelope, that was enough; sometimes you wanted to take the letter
out, unfold it, and read it again so you knew you’d had another life once, been
part of another world.
Read more at location 1693
Conrad was trying not to stare. She gave off a muted radiance: he
felt everyone could see it. It was like sitting with someone who had a
spotlight trained on her.
Read more at location 1707
This was the mission: Suck it up.
Read more at location 2052
But even that, even talking about the landscape there, in-country,
was oddly painful. There was some kind of pull from it: he didn’t tell Claire
ead more at location 2267
didn’t tell her there was something he missed. He missed his men,
and he missed something more. It was like a dark crack, a crevasse, a sliver,
reaching down inside him, deep and narrow. There was something he needed from
there, something he didn’t have here.
Read more at location 2269
None of this mattered. He wanted to be able to press himself
against the length of her and pound himself into oblivion; he also wanted to be
able to turn and walk away at any moment, recover his own sense of his world,
return to a place where she was not. A wildness was inside him, like a
sandstorm, raging, senseless, amorphous.R
ead more at location 2495
He thought about reenlisting himself: Why stand on the sidelines
when the life he knew was still going
Read more at location 3055
During action, when the Cobras flew past overhead, their machine
guns racketing down onto the bad guys, everyone got hard. The guys joked about
it afterward, boasting.
Read more at location 3896
The part of him that was still there was like the ocean, huge and
moving and unseen. It was really all of him. That’s where he was; that’s where
he still was.
Read more at location 4155
None of them were nearby, and he didn’t want to tell this to any
of them. Fear was a secret you kept forever. Read more at location 4204