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Similar to when Nazi Germany invaded Poland in September of 1939, I have an uneasy feeling this is only the beginning of what will soon become a much more expansive and more aggressive offensive campaign. The enemy this time isn’t trying to eradicate entire ethnic groups, but rather, has a singular focus and that focus happens to be my chest. Some would say, and I happen to agree wholeheartedly, that this fighting forces’ intentions are far crueler than that of the Third Reich.
My livelihood is at stake and the 20 or so gray hairs that have breached the middle of my chest, equal distance from my two magnificent nipples, have claimed their territory downtown without the slightest bit of resistance. As I’m writing this, the Allied Brown Hairs comfortably outnumber the Axis Powers of Gray by an estimate of 200 to 1, but still, I can’t help but be leery of what lies in store for my person.
My right hand over my left breast; I can feel my heart beating at what I think is a robust pace. The slight pounding against my open palm every second or so should put me at ease and yet, I peer down and see the formation of a small cloud in what is an otherwise perfectly brown sky and it gives me trepidation.
I know how time and patterns work. Within years, the cloud will morph into an overcast and when I look at my bare chest in the mirror after a shower, I’ll see my father and not my 16-yr-old self. Both happen to be dead, but still, I found comfort in being closer in age to the latter than I do the former.
Nazi Germany invaded then occupied Poland and then Denmark and then Norway and then Belgium and then the Netherlands and then France. FRANCE! The beat of the Wehrmacht’s drumming went on like my heart currently does. That is of course until the Battle of Dunkirk on the Western Front. Many, much more studious than me, point to those ten days along France’s coast, as the war’s turning point. The point at which Hitler and those that vowed unyielding allegiance to the Führer lost not only a battle, but something that could not be tallied – their sense of invincibility.
And with every new gray hair sprouting up on my brawny chest to join the crusade against my invincibility, I ever so slowing become aware of the inevitable – my mortality. Unfortunately for me and unlike France and Western Europe, America won’t be swooping in to save my ass.
All is not quiet along the Chestern Front.