My shoes could be there

Over the past week, several people have asked me about my shoes. I kept my old army boots, and I wear them every day. They’re comfortable, I say. I work a labor job. They keep my feet dry when it rains. These are all true, I think. So why do I wear them on sunny days? On my days off?

I saw a go-pro video last week, from a friend stationed in Gaza. By chance, one of his squadmates is a friend of mine from yeshiva and two others are guys I met back in summer camp. The way they shout to each other, the way they call shots and clear rooms, sounds identical to the way we’d call plays in football on the sunny afternoons between classes.

And here I am, on the bench. But I’m wearing the same shoes as my friends; those boys who are now camping in rubble and haven’t seen their families in weeks.

I’m not with them, but my shoes could be.

Akiva Wurtzel, written in a WW Workshop