“Charlene has long, graying dark hair parted down the middle and super-serious eyes, which she has to lower to compose herself for a minute when I ask her, alone, if she saved Steve’s life.”
- “Graying dark hair” can mean that she has had a lot of stress in her life and it has taken a toll on her. This could also prove that PTSD is contagious if her graying hair is a result of Steve’s disease.
- “Which she has to lower to compose herself for a minute when i ask her, alone, if she saved Steve’s life” shows that the process of healing Steve could have been very difficult. But her composure shows that he is better now and is happier this way.
“These most recent years, Steve is funnier—after all…but it’s not all good days”
- Steve can be showing signs of being happier and healthier and his family is starting to notice.
- “But it’s not all good days” shows that this disease is seriously affecting Steve but the results are inconsistent.
- What happens when he is having a bad day?
- Was he a really funny person before everything that happened?
“And hypervigilant. He doesn’t like living on Five Cent Ranch Road, which runs through a decidedly vulnerable valley.”
- “Hypervigilant” due to the anxiety brought on from the disease, he now feels vulnerable where he lives because of the location.
- This sense of insecurity can drive someone insane.
“At the very top of a largely uninhabited hill, it will be hell—and sometimes impossible—to get down in winter because of the snow, but Steve doesn’t care, and wants to grow old with Charlene and die up there. At that elevation, with that vantage point, it’s one of the most defensible pieces of land in town.”
- Steve is moving to an inconvenient location I believe so that he feels safe and secluded from everyone else.
- Is Charlene okay with the move or is she just agreeing to help deal with him?
- “it’s one of the most defensible pieces of land in town” What does he have to defend against?
- His act of moving can be defined as another point that PTSD can be contagious. Steve’s need to move because he may feel unsafe and vulnerable in his house directly alters Charlene.
“In the Vines’ household in Alabama, at any unpredictable time of night, the nightmare starts in Iraq.”
- What does this mean? What happens when these nightmares start?
- Shows how PTSD seriously affects soldiers back home, trying to live a regular life.
- Is PTSD “contagious” because of these outrages and nightmares?