Once Upon A Time

This story happens in no particular order...It simply begins with being born and it will eventually end with being dead and, like most tales, it gets all mixed up in between. There are moments of truth, others of lies, greatness pops up here and there, some good, lots of bad.

Pretty much looks and sounds like your normal life...Average, somewhat boring, but nothing really special.

Until you look in between the moments. Back in the dark ages, before computers, before instant information, before everyone knew everything about anyone, there were secrets. Some were kind of innocent...Maybe this person kept their sexuality a secret because back then, and still sometimes today, being gay was dangerous. It was bad enough to keep your sexuality a secret in a small town, but to be in the military it became down right dangerous...Back then the 'Treatment' for being gay often meant a 'Lobotomy', sometimes it meant having the living crap beat out of you. That's one kind of secret...There were others. There were those who were found themselves involved with violence of one kind or another. Gangs, religions, or just plain insanity. Sometimes people died. 

Death happened a lot back in those days. The military was different, America's allies were questionable. I was there when our ally was the Shah of Iran and we fought along side them without morality. 

In this story people try to find some kind of redemption. Sometimes before the bad things happen, sometimes after, always during...Once a person watches another human being die they're forever changed. Eventually you run out of tears and you desperately seek to find them again. You try to do something good, you try to help...In the 80s I helped friends who were dying of AIDS and the tears were there but they stayed in my soul. Eventually I had a tear tattooed for all those I lost in the fire. I kept my secrets for a long time...I finally tired of the silence. Those I loved and trusted I finally told...I was blessed because they accepted me, they showed me the meaning of love and after my dad died my sister and I were talking and she learned the last of the secrets. Truth be told, I'm fairly certain she already knew.

I have had to sign secrecy forms three times in my life. I thought about fighting the good fight but after a tour of Leavenworth I chose to sign the first form. There were two other incidents, both with the same ending and once, only once, I let something slip and that was a mistake. I did have a conversation with Lewis Rhodes, the one time head of the ACLU and we talked about what to do...Which was not much of anything.

Ah, but there is a bright light. It's called literature, a story, and it begins with: Once upon a time.

And we'll call it fiction. 

We'll know better.

There was a friend I knew back in college. He was the guy who helped me find the courage to find myself so I'm going to dedicate this story I'm working on to him.
  Thanks, Orville. (Yes, that really is his name)

 

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