Jessica (dylpickled) wrote in novelnovelchunk,

I Meant Well (chapter: Foreign Soldiers)

His name was Konrad, but he was called, for some unfathomable reason, Buchi. Small and sturdy and often the butt of jokes, nothing disturbed Buchi's calm. He hardly ever spoke, preferring just to squint at the world tiredly and contentedly from behind the smoke of his ever-burning cigarette. When I met him he was in the middle of a mandatory year of military service. I imagine the life of a young new draftee was hard, but this seemed to have washed over Buchi easily. He seemed comfortable in his green military coat, a red-and-white armband displaying his nationality, his coarse green pants tucked into sturdy black boots. He sat like a boy, but the constant training had given him a man's muscles. I pulled at the chain around his neck, exposing his dogtags. "What's this?" I asked, pointing at a number. He smiled laconically, "That's me."
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