“Another fire project that we need to do Asap. What are your working on now?” said Kaysha as she peeked over a set of mid-level cubicles directing her attention towards an overweight, middle aged man in the cubicle next to her own. The man jumped out of his seat and began to fumble his fingers across the keyboard in an attempt to look busy. The man stated “I just finished up a few designs for future use”, quick was this response as if it was predetermined and strategically crafted. Kaysha gathered some papers and passed them to the man across the cubicle. “Great Joseph, but can you please get this done today? Richele needs it for an early AM meeting.” “Sure thing Kaysha” said Joseph, “I’ll get this done as soon as I can”. Still in bit of a stupor, Joseph grabbed the materials from Kaysha and sat back in his chair, collected his thoughts, and began to work on the project.
As time goes on, Joseph starts to lose his train of thought and his mind begins to wander. Lost in his own mind with thoughts of fantasy and reality. Visions of a distant past from the days of the Samurai. Rescuing damsels in distress from an evil overlord. Thoughts racing in his head until one of a more realistic nature takes over. A memory of his very own past when he was but a wee lad. A memory of when he as enlisted in the Navy.
“Where the hell am I?” Joseph says to himself as he looks down at a map, “I’m suppose to be at the damn airport in 2 hours.” Sweat starts to drop down his panic-striken face as he looks around his surroundings. He gazed off into the distance, staring at the traffic, when he noticed through his peripherals a skinny, dilapidated man approaching him. The man had a very rugged look to him. Torn jeans, military vest, and worn out shoes. “You know I was in the special services” the man mumbled with a raspy, hardened voice. “That’s awesome”, Joseph replied, “Thank you for your service. What branch did you serve?” The man stood there gathering his thoughts. His eyes widened as if an epiphany struck, “I was in the Army. 81st platoon. Got shot with this here bullet when I was in Nam”. He pulled a necklace off of his neck with a .556 shell. Joseph inspected the shell and noticed two things from this. The first is that the shell was in pretty good condition even though it has been fired in the harsh condition of Vietnam. Secondly, how in God’s green earth would this man be able to locate the shell that was fired from enemy guns in a war zone?
“Wow! Must have been pretty scary getting shot. I can’t thank you enough for your service. I’m in a bit of a rush and have to catch my plane. It was good talking to you” said Joseph while turning around looking for a taxi, trying to end their brief, awkward interaction. “Hey, wanna join me and a few naked women and have a Hollywood coke party?” the man shouted. Blown back by his statement, Joseph turned around thinking to himself “How in the hell is this man going to afford coke? How can man like this pull off such a feat of having naked women around him that can stand the putrid odor of feces and urine?” The man stood there patiently awaiting an answer from Joseph like a dog waiting for his master at the sliding glass door. “I don’t think so sir.” Joseph replied eagerly awaiting the arrival of a taxi, any taxi.
After hearing the devastating news of rejection, the man began his long trip towards nowhere. Joseph turned around and walked towards the edge of the curb waiting for a taxi. “Joseph” a faint feminine whisper can be heard. “Joseph” the voice getting a bit louder. Putting his seabag on the ground, Joseph starts to look around the street, wondering who can be calling him. As he continues to search for this mysterious voice, a hand grabbed him on his shoulder, pulling and turning him around. The man with the bullet necklace stood there gazing with a blank stare. At the top of his lungs, the man shouted “JOSEPH!”
“Joseph do you hear me?” Kaysha shouted over the cubicles. Surprised from the sudden shock of being woken up from the daydream, Joseph turned towards Kaysha with his eyes wide open, more alert than ever before. “Yes, I was concentrating on the project you gave me earlier” replied Joseph, “I’m almost done and will email you in 30 minutes”. Kaysha sat back in her desk, typing away on whatever project she was working on before pulling Joseph out of the daydream.
Joseph began working on the project again finishing up the last bits and details, while still trying to ride that train of thought, destination “Memories of The Past.” Unfortunately for Joseph, thoughts can be a fickle thing. The train of thought has departed and the new location set now is somewhere new. Where will this train take Joseph? Even he doesn’t know the answer.