Specks of sadness dance in her dark eyes as she tells me of her life on the road, always moving, always unstable. Her next deployment is across the sea and over the mountains, thousands of miles away from here, from home. He wanted to be with her, she said, but then she received news of the assignment and so he stopped asking to be with her once the reality set in. She has one more year of service before she is free to be herself again, to reclaim her freedom. She said she would dye her hair green when she returned home.
This weekend I will try the new coffee roastery by my place and go for a walk afterwards, under the cool and brightening Los Angeles sky. She will head back to base and make preparations to set off for one year. She will leave everything behind and venture into unknown territory, to the other side. The point is that she will be so far from home, from her family. It will be one year before I see my friend again. It matters not what side I stand on, because I love her more than all the politik combined. I admire and appreciate her courage, and I am reminded of the value of my freedom. Freedom to choose, freedom to be. Let me never forget. I will miss her dearly.