in the Dark Vol 6 Edition 5
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They built a Wal-Mart at the PX in Bosnia with eight-foot-wide
isles, all primary colors and industrial design, a box in the mud packed
full and sinking. And we come and we march through in our camos and
gear, strutting and cocking and drilling and spinning wildly, out of control.
Geese to the rows, flapping and pecking for fallen breadcrumbs.
The corporal turns and looks down the tunnel of an M-16.
Bill's. The pudding cup he was holding hovers in the air, suspended
by sheer force of will. "Yeah when I was in Guatamala," Bill says,
"I'd take a two-day pass and turn it into a full-bore bender. Blow
a month's pay on booze, drugs, women. They've got 14-year olds there.
Whatever you want. It's too cold here. Too cold."
At the checkout line, the corporal picks up a paperback without
looking at the cover and runs his gloved fingers over the raised letters
of the title, each contact with a ridge sending charges of distance through
him, the fresh revelation of each shape drawing him further on, but he
places the book back on the conveyor belt before reaching the last letter,
the incomplete title still hanging in the air. You've got to leave
some mysteries unsolved, after all.