No more fantasy world

My friend Alex doesn’t quite fit in a town that wants to know if you’re ‘in’ media, law, or finance. He’s the Colombian kid from Queens who moved to an Irish-Italian suburb. He’s the Green Beret lieutenant who fetched up in the least-disciplined corners of Silicon Alley. He’s the action man who meditates. He’s the corporate CTO who goes to film school and makes movies about toy monkeys. I like him very much.

Alex served in the Gulf War, in Haiti, in Panama. He threatens to show me the shrapnel in his ass from Sinai. He talks about ‘his guys’ with the love other men keep for sons. When he left the Green Berets, he wanted to put war behind him to live in what he calls the fantasy world—peaceful America.
 ‘Before September 11th, when I told people I’d been in Special Forces, they didn’t even know what that meant.’

He walked home from work when the World Trade Center reports started coming in. People were running and crying, but he was fine. At 76th St., though, he saw the fighter jets over New York and broke down in tears.

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