Years ago, I had a weird and thankless night. It was a combination of pulling off a difficult and dangerous operation immediately followed by being denied a very simple and very necessary (for the agency) request. The message was very clear, it seemed: "We need you to deal with the ugly stuff, otherwise you are to be invisible and we will pretend that your kind are unnecessary and don't exist."
I sent a whiny note out into cyber-space and was answered by Roy Bedard- an officer, martial artist and (now that I've met him I can say) a thoroughly gracious man. Also a thug. You gotta love the combination.
He said that the people who made those decisions didn't deal with the stuff. He also said that if they had experienced that night, they'd be talking about it for years but that I would soon forget as other rough nights would intervene. He was mostly right, but I remember the night because of what he said, not because of the huge, angry Samoan.
I've sat around the campfire as friends recount second by second a cave trip we took years ago. It was a powerful, life changing event for them and I have no memory of it whatsoever. Sometimes it's easy to blame concussions, but crawling in a cave or even most fights don't mean enough to hold a place in my memory.
Is that good? There's cool stuff in the memory, but cool stuff gone, too.
It does make conversation hard. With only a few exceptions my eyes glaze over when most officers talk about their 'big fight'. It's hard to talk to civilian martial artists most of the time.
It seems I talk to Sean and Mac the most... but in retrospect we don't talk about the fights. We talk about what we learned. That's good. It's good enough.
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