Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Sometimes in April

Yesterday marked the sixteenth anniversary of the outbreak of the Rwanda genocide.  I've never been to Africa and I don't know anyone who survived the bloodbath, but as a student of things most foul in history I never forget certain dates.  As it turns out, April is full of them.  My birthday also falls in this month, yet another reason why my thoughts turn to mortality.  Yes, April makes me wistful and puts me in a certain indescribable mood, equal parts ethereal and sullen, an introspective mindset only the autumnal season can surpass.

I got up early this morning at a hotel in Milwaukee, lodging paid for by the military.  As a reservist soldier, I"m currently flying to California for my annual training exercise.  I'll be in the Bay Area for the next nine days visiting MOTCO or Military Ocean Terminal Concord.  I'm hoping to visit my parents in the L.A. area after a few days. 

I turn 45 on Saturday.  Where has my life gone and wither does it go?  What's it all about Alfie?  And who the hell is Alfie anyway?  So many questions, so little time.  I've looked for answers and thought I had found them earlier in my life, but in the end they were false leads.  One of the most painful things in life, I used to think, was living this life and not knowing why.  But life ain't so bad.  It could be worse.  Getting raped and mutilated by machete-wielding killers trumps an existential vaccum, don't you think?

By the way, there are now a handful of good movies about Rwanda, but the best one is called Sometimes in April (2005).  Check it out some time, and let me know what you think.