Connections - The Warrior Family
Gunner Palace Blogging

Tuesday's Gone

It's Wednesday morning.  I'm on the way to work really early.  I've been working on a huge project and I've got so many things going on right now I need the time alone in the office to focus.

The sun's just coming up - dark blue sky.  It's 75 degrees.  Beautiful.  Put the windows down and feel the cool morning wind off of Lake Michigan.  The radio station plays Metallica's version of Tuesday's Gone:

    Train roll on, on down the line
    Won't you please take me far away
    Now, i feel the wind blow outside my door
    I leave my woman at home

    Tuesday's gone with the wind
    My baby's gone with the wind

A few years ago, during a night much like this morning...75 degrees, the dusk sky purple and pink and blue, a cool breeze off of the lake...Cooter and his wife, and me and mine, were in a beer garden watching a live band.  Cooter was from East Kentucky.  His wife from Western Virginia. 

Cooter and I met eight or nine years back.  We shared some common experiences that would make a northern-city-slicker-Officer like me friends with a hillbilly, always slow talking like he had a wad of tobacco in his mouth whether he did or not, good-ol'-southern-boy-Sergeant like him.  We became brothers.

I wanted him to meet my better half.

So they came to Chicago not too long ago.  We were sitting in the beer garden on that beautiful night when Coot leaned across the table and said, "How in the f*** did you manage to get her to marry you?"

It, of course, was a compliment.

We laughed and I was in the middle of returning the compliment when the band started playing "Tuesday's Gone."  Cooter, already well on his way to a hangover, jumped up on the picnic table and started singing along.

He yelled down at me, "Git yer ass up here, man!"

I jumped up on the table and noticed my wife and Coot's wife exchanging knowing glances.  I can't sing worth a @#$% and neither can Cooter.  But that wouldn't stop us - one arm around the other's shoulders with the other extended holding a plastic cup of beer sloshing all over the place - drunk and screeching at the top of our lungs:

    Train roll on, many miles from my home
    See, i'm riding my blues away
    Tuesday, you see, she had to be free
    But somehow, I've got to carry on

    Tuesday's gone with the wind
    My baby's gone with the wind

And now I'm in the car and thinking of Coot and hearing the song and thinking of that night - thinking of his wife and wondering how she's doing and that I should call her.

That was the last time I saw Coot.  He was killed in Afghanistan.

So now, my eyes are a bit wet and the guy in the Lexus next to me is wondering what's up with the guy in the Ford, singing loudly and out of tune?

    Tuesday's gone with the wind
    Tuesday's gone with the wind

    But somehow I've got to carry on.