November 23, 2007: Today we went to the mortuary. My mom said they put flags on all the coffins of dead soldiers, even ones like my brother who got killed by what's called friendly fire. I said to my mom, "But he wasn't even fighting the war when he was killed." And she said, "Yes, he was." I left it at that. She didn't like to think his best friend shot him by accident. My brother was standing next to a stopped car that the soldiers thought was going to explode. It didn't. But the soldiers shot all the passengers anyway, and my brother was trying to talk to the people in the car because he spoke Farsi -- they were Iranians trying to get back to Iran -- and got killed along with them. "I guess he shouldn't have studied Farsi in college then," I said, secretly gloating because now he was dead, and it didn't matter that he had spoken a language I never knew. "Farsi shmarsi," she said; and I figured it was as pointless to get her to take me to visit his grave as it was to get her to take me to visit my dad at the cemetery.
Copyright, 2007, Jennifer Chesler, All Rights Reserved