Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Modern Love: May I Have This Dance?

New York Times - Modern Love: May I Have This Dance? by Owen Powell

This week's Modern Love column is by Sergeant Owen Powell, an MP who has returned from an Iraq deployment and has now been assigned to Brooklyn New York. And he talks of being at war, the boredom, the banality, and thinking about his wife, and all the other little things he thought of to pass the time. I love his comment summerizing his experience:

It was everything I had ever hoped to experience in the military. It really was. Not that I would ever choose to do it again.

But the conclusion is a wonderful thing. While he may have whiled away his hours thinking of a famous pretty actress (whose identity is rather besides the point) and all of the things like dancing or romantic dinners they could be doing together (or not doing together, as some of his fantasies involve being dumped. I imagine that if you are being dumped in your dreams, life is not the greatest).

He goes on to talk about our celebrity and banality obsessed culture, one that we have more understanding of lives of people we only know on the TV screen then our neighbors.

But, then he also talks about being actually home. Not the United States that existed on TV, newspapers, or his dreams, but the real home. And in the city that the actress that he dreamed about was. But it turns out, dreams don't hold up against reality. And the reality is that he lives and goes home each night not to excitement, or dreams, but to his wife. And spends his Saturday's on a couch with his wife. And he is happy.

Next to that, dreams have no wonder for him. Not of the excitement of New York City in the skyline. Not the thoughts of a beautiful famous actress. And one month away, I'm looking forward to some of the same.
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