Phil Klay

Out of town

Some people love small towns. Everybody knows everybody, there’s a real community you don’t get in other places. If you’re like me, though, and you don’t fit in, it’s a prison. So our relationship was half boyfriend/girlfriend, half cell mates. For my sixteenth birthday, she blindfolded me and drove me twenty miles out of town, to a high point off the interstate where you could watch the roads stretch out forever across the plains toward all the places we’d rather be. She told me her gift was this, the promise to come back here with me someday and keep going.

We were so close for two years. And then I signed up.

I was tired of doing the weaker thing. And I knew that her talk about the future was just that, talk. She’d never leave. I didn’t want to stay with her, work in a veterinarian’s office, and be wistful. My ticket out was what passed in our town for first class. The Marine Corps.

Redeployment – Phil Klay


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