Re: log: grant/matt, the woods
The soldier didn't grow up with anyone. He had no family - he had no home. He had a brain injury, they told him, and had left no one behind. Even if he had, what did it matter? He had given his body to the cause. They made him believe that. That he believed what they believed, that he had wanted to do the things they wanted, that he had been willing to give up every scrap of unwillingness to serve better something he was already devoted to.
He knew they were lies, but when nothing else existed, lies were better than nothing. You could cling to anything when the alternative was a empty of personhood. The soldier had been the alternative to nothing.
Now this man standing across from him was using language of friendship and kinship, of brothers raised together, and he could feel it want to mean something and not quite summon anything in return. He was mute where Grant was effusive. He had nothing to offer back, and it turned an unfamiliar feeling in his stomach, one that felt like when it was night and he woke up slashing at unfamiliar shadows with snapped-off bedposts.
"I was," he said. "I was dead." It didn't sound metaphorical. It wasn't a poetic sentiment. Grant was coming ever closer, and Matt stood his ground. He didn't know his left hand had clenched into a fist, or the tense line of his shoulders.
"You were on the platform," he said. "A year ago." It might mean nothing to him, blended into a dozen other missions gone wrong. "Why are you here?" He didn't know what he wanted to do, what he would do if Grant came a step closer, into arm's reach, but he knew his fingers itched, and there was a jumping muscle between his shoulderblades. Fight or flight was in block letters on his face.