I'm reading Sebastian's book. I'm very appreciative that Sonya sent it to me.
I'm taking it in, marveling at the pace, the tone, and feeling that what we had was a juxtaposition of two diametrically opposite realities. His reality was combat, war, injured men and women, saving burned children, amputations, a clinic for locals, and training Afghan doctors. Mine was trying to stay present --not project, focusing on the house, the teens who led secret lives in their respective bedrooms, and me ...sometimes writing, or even painting the rooms in the house. Deployment gave me the biggest case of ADHD in the world. No amount of ritalin, caffeine or yoga could cure this. I know now as I did then, my flimsy focus served as a distraction from the fear and anxiety I felt every day. Even today, there are dozens of half finished projects, evidence of my internal war of disorganization.
He didn't have a phone, which was just as well. Anything I would have to say over an expensive SAT line would be irrelevant, laughable, and at times even pitiful. "The cat beat up the dog." "Will is staying out all night." "I painted the bedroom yesterday." What a fucking joke. I mean, how stupid is it to burn up the minutes talking about this stuff? Because at the end of the day, I didn't save any lives, no one shot at me, and food for us was from a mostly full fridge. But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe those little things like, "Kat got a hair cut" made him feel good the few times we talked on Skype.
Our conversations on Skype were irregular. For several weeks there was no contact while they moved the FST (Forward Surgical Team) into a new hospital at Camp Wright. They had to buy their own satellite dish to get internet so that they could communicate with loved ones, take college courses. Buying it was a real circus. It got stuck at KAF for weeks. Finally, after finagling, they got it. But cruel ironies. The new hospital was located next to a hillside, on which there were goats. Well, the goats--we'll save that for later.
The downside is after the staff shelled out 5k of their own money, they couldn't get the right trajectory for the dish to hook up to the satellite due to the hill. Both email and Skype became non-existent.
The odd positioning of realities. Both sides hoping on some level to relate to the other. Hoping not to lose one another. Be safe, God Bless, Love you all. -Kanani Fong, The Kitchen Dispatch