Bobby Aldridge


I remember that day, getting on the bus at the university. It felt like 1942. It felt like the news had just soaked in. Ayatollah was a new word and the president looked so tired that night. He longed for a chance to work on domestic policy and great societies.

Students chanted in the streets and burned us in effigy outside the embassy. It was day 14, and we stayed up to watch for news. Some kid wore a Captain America tee shirt that said “I’m coming.” We thought it was great. We felt like our grandparents and listened for news of a draft. She didn’t have to say she’d wait, if anything did happen.

I worked with Iranian students at the cafeteria. Some were apologetic and some were quiet about their leanings. We were free to discuss it after the dishes were done and the floors were mopped. Even walking home under the intermittent street lights, after the buses had quit for the night, I felt the sounds of my steps were anachronistic. I could imagine myself on a troop ship with Frank Sinatra and a guy from Iowa showing us a picture of his girl.

A year later things were back to normal. We were married and buying gyros from the House of Greek. We only used the university buses to get to and from the store. I worked briefly at a plumbing wholesale house and she met me with kisses at the door.

pruning the bonsai
in our little apartment
behind the curtains

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