Slowly, stories are coming out from Elie's time in the army...operations he went on; not major details that might be problematic, but things he did or saw; encounters he had while on the checkpoint, impressions from his time near Gaza. I let them flow, almost unsolicited.
Perhaps it is my projecting...wanting to believe he needs this as much as I do. Some stories involve danger...more danger than I knew about. It's silly to be scared or concerned now...he's here in front of me, after all.
We were talking about something and Elie mentioned a helicopter.
"Have you ever been on a helicopter?" I asked him a bit wistfully.
"Yes," he answered with a smile, "and it was cool."
"No way," I answered, already aware that he was sounding so much older than me. "Really?"
He explained that he and another commander had flown in a helicopter planning out a training mission that in the end never came about. Other things got in the way, but Elie got his helicopter ride. So cool.
I'm not interested in tanks - too large, too bulky, too...fierce.
But a helicopter...oh how I would love to ride in a helicopter.