“What college were you thinking about going to when you were eighteen?’ Junior said.
“It was a different day,” Paul said. “College wasn’t even on my mind.”
“Right,” Junior said. “You were in the Army first. What was it like being eighteen and going into the Army?”
“It was a terrible day, son,” Paul said. “I raised my right hand and in an instant I was a soldier. I was eighteen years old. Before I was nineteen I was someplace else and taking orders to kill an enemy. I didn‘t understand any of it.”
“You had to grow up real fast,” Junior said.
“No matter what they say, you don’t,” Paul said.
“They were desperate times,” Junior said.
“Insane times,” Paul said. “It delays being an adult. Aiming a rifle at another human and shooting is not an adult decision or action.”
“Did you ever…” Junior said.
“I aimed high,” Paul said. “Not much of a soldier.”
“I’m glad,” Junior said. “And proud. They say that real soldiers never talk about the lives they take.”
“That’s what they say,” Paul said. “Now where did you say you wanted to go to college?”
“Where would you have like to have gone, Dad?” Junior said.