THE END OF WAR by Robert Wexelblatt • Cleaver Magazine
By the ninth year we believed it might never end and gave up trying to win it because trying to win a war is the surest way to make it go on; that is, when you try to win a war it’s only the war that wins. This was the sum of the wisdom we had achieved in nearly a decade; in fact, it was the solitary thing we had achieved in all those years of fighting and suffering. Now that we were pushing thirty we couldn’t bear that the war would go on and on, not just for another decade but for the rest of our lives. Nevertheless, simply laying down our arms and surrendering would be futile because of the swarms of gung-ho seventeen- and eighteen-year-olds, weaned on tales of glory and revenge, who wouldn't think of giving up, at least not for another nine more years. As for ourselves, our generation, we reckoned that it wasn’t the enemy that needed to be defeated but the war itself. It had already ruined everything it touched, from dairy farms to post-adolescence, from stone bridges to summer romances, from highway overpasses to bedside manners, from the pride of old men to the breasts of pubescent girls. So, by and by, we came up with a plan, desperate yet not inelegant. A dozen of us decided to organize a theater festival, as we announced, right on the front lines (of which there really weren't any), right in the middle of the battlefield (though there really was no field). Our great production would stretch from the trenches to the rear echelons,