Those PSD Teams – October ’06

Drew throws himself down in the chair next to me and twitches distractedly, his body making tiny leaps off the seat, his hands randomly touching things on the table, looking for something to do.

I had to shoot a dog today, Seren, he tells me in a quiet, confidential voice. He sounds scandalized by the memory. I feel terrible …

I make a sympathetic noise and grimace. We both love dogs.

He was staggering in circles, Drew explains, rubbing a hand hard through his thick hair as if he can get on inside his skull to erase the memory. Something was wrong with him. He did it for five minutes. He couldn’t stop

It’s best then, I assure him.

But I keep thinking … Drew says twitching around in the chair again and looking everywhere but at me. What if he just had an itch! What if he was just trying to scratch himself or something, and I shot him!

Did the others see the dog? I ask.

Drew blows out his breath in one explosive burst. They think I’m a girl! They saw it – we all talked about it. The dog was sick!

Then it’s good that you shot it, I assure him again. It’s out of its misery, yes?

Drew leans forward to look into my eyes. But what if it was just scratching itself, Seren!

 ***

Drew was one of my favorite PSD men, a Brit with a bit of court jester in him somehow … he’d pop his head out a window or over a Hesco barrier as abruptly as a jack-in-the-box, startling me every time with his sparkling grin. Clever, highly competent, and normally confident, he would occasionally torture himself by second guessing his decisions. Since he wasn’t shy about verbalizing his doubts, he was then secondarily and mercilessly tortured with teasing from the rest of the team. He could take it and dish it right back with wit and humor, though, a trait most of the Brits had and that I fell in love with.

More than once Drew came to me to voice his doubts about a choice of action he’d taken, this being the most memorable and touching to me for the depth to which he was disturbed by his decision …  

 

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