From the Author
ActuallyI had two other things in mind when I began thinking about Adrian. I had beenagainst America invading Iraq and I blamed it on W, our president who made thedecision to invade. I had just finished reading Vincent Bugliosi's book The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder,and I wondered how many soldiers regretted their decisions to join up in thefirst place, like my friend. I'm not talking about those soldiers who died in battle (that's bad enough), butthose young men and women who came back (and are continuing to come back) fromIraq and Afghanistan--only to discover a battlefield far more relentless andinfinitely more lonely. I am speaking about all those warriors who do battleevery day in their mind's eye, seeing, hearing, smelling, and feeling the lossof a limb, their own or a buddy's--or who experience the last five minutes oftheir buddy's life. There's no special day just for them. There is no Veteranswith PTSD day.
Its full name is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder; at least that's what wecall it now. In the past it was battle fatigue and shell shock, but a rose byany other name is just as devastating I learned when I started the research on TheTrials of Adrian Wheeler. When George W. Bush dropped his first bombon Baghdad in March, 2003, I was so upset I produced what I still consider mybest work of art, a painting I entitled TheSisters of Baghdad which can be seen on my website, steveshear.net. Shortly thereafter I wrote apoem, The Bombing of Baghdad which appears at thebeginning of Adrian. Around that time, I remember getting a haircut andranting to my barber, Harold, about how terrible President Bush was. My barberwas ultraconservative, although I didn't know it at the time. His bald head(wouldn't you know it) turned red, his eyes bulged and his lips quivered. Myonly thought at the time was to blurt out: "HAROLD, PUT DOWN THE SCISSORS!"Fortunately, I am still alive and Harold is still cutting hair, I assume.
Bythe time I finished writing Adrian and living in the skins ofthe characters, George Bush became a bit more than a footnote. The characters andthe family dynamics took over, Adrian, Pa, Daisy, Esme, Rachael, Rabinowitz,Benedetti, and the others. Actually, characters like these along with what theydo and say tend to get under your skin and go where you go whether it's at thecomputer, on a long walk, brushing your teeth, or in my case playing Pickleball.That's what happens during nineteen drafts and before you ever think aboutsending out your first query.