“Looking back in time I see guns, ammunition, blood and people dying. A war is a terrible thing not only because it kills humans but because it gives birth to an idea that says life is cheap, take it with a bullet. Once you have been a part of a war you can never undo the memories, the experiences, the shiver, the fever, the helplessness and the losing associated with it! I am going home but not with the people I had come, nevertheless, these are my countrymen and they are alive. Survivors!”
Looking at the small crew of his countrymen, the residuals of war, as the media liked to call them, Odysseus wondered if they will ever be the same again. As far as he was concerned, he knew he would never be able to shut his ears to the cries he had heard in the platoon. Soldiers dying every day and all that came from the government was more weapons, more men and more bandages. Odysseus remembered how once, while his friend was dying in his lap, blood oozing out of his left arms, with tears in his blue eyes, he had asked, “I don’t understand but what will they do of the bandages once no one is left to aid the others?” Odysseus had no answer to that and so he had left his friend dying, without a response.
But unlike others he had a hope. A hope in love: his wife! Penelope! She would be waiting. Just a few hours more and he will be in his home, medals on his breast and his wife in his arms. She would come and kiss him. Sometimes the person you love is the only bandage that can cure the last of the incurable wounds, stuck at invisible places. He was dying to be with her, touch her and see how different it felt to be with someone untouched by the muck of war. The flight arrived and the boys entered one after the other. Only he was stopped! Odysseus was told to wait.
He did as told! If war had sealed something in him, it was the habit of following an order without caring for a WHY. When later the head of the army walked in, he told Odysseus he was stopped because the president did not want him to come. Not yet! It was not really the president who was against the Odysseus’ home coming, but it was one of the head of the social groups, people who think of themselves as the prophets of humanity, who did not want him to come.