Last year in Liverpool a friend of mine, Blue, a returned soldier from the Iraq war, brought over a local newspaper, The Liverpool Echo, and showed me, in the inner pages, photos of two friends he was posted with, who had been killed in combat south of Baghdad. They were 19 and 22 years old.
Blue was one of the first of the British troops to enter Sadam's palace and the troops warned of possible booby traps and mines.
Blue was in active combat and finds it now nearly impossible to talk about the experience.
He finds it almost impossible to talk at all.
He was discharged after ambulance duty where he was almost killed twice under friendly fire despite the red cross on his truck. He was discharged with post traumatic stress disorder and returned to Crosby Liverpool where he and his friends had grown up.
For Blue it was from football fields to the army.
He invited me to his home where he lived with his mother, and a room mate, a policeman.
This room, his bedroom, at the top of the stairs facing back house tenaments is a teenage playground, the debris of his adolescent romance.
A cut and tear portrait of Mishima as Sebastian next to a Metallica sticker above the broken pile of his CD collection on his red and white bed side table.
It is a room that remains as though he had never left.
This is a utopia petrified.
This is Blue's room.