Andrew Jackson Jihad - Distance
You are doing the Lord’s work, and he thanks you.
allofthefeelings replied to your post “For real though, the number one reason I over-identify with Bucky…”
Oh, it isn’t because you have a metal arm? MY MISTAKE.
SHHHHHH. JESUS. THIS IS mrbowers ALL OVER AGAIN. THAT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A SECRET. EVERYONE I KNOW IS TERRIBLE AT SECRETS.
For real though, the number one reason I over-identify with Bucky Barnes is that he is not made of bright light—he has to work to shine himself—but he’s so very, very attracted to it in others.
i think the most important thing to remember in that scene is that bucky literally just came out of a cell where he was being tortured for days. (and you know that he was being tortured/experimented on bc even before we knew he survived, he was muttering name rank and serial number on that bench which are the only things a soldier is allowed to reveal under torture, and also to get the level of treatment that’s entitled to their rank.) and it’s very clear and very obvious in sebstan’s choices that the bucky that came out of that hydra base is not the bucky who sauntered down the alleyway towards steve who didn’t know, really, what he was going into.
just basing it off the movie, he’s a boy who gets sold the idea of this war. that he was going to wear these clean pressed uniforms and tilt his hat all cocky like and swagger down the street with a girl on each arm, that he was going to go overseas - something that he wouldn’t have been able to do before because while wealthy young men still did the grand tour, he is not a wealthy young man - and kill nazis and fight the good fight and come back. war isn’t a call of duty; war isn’t even an aspiration; war is an adventure. he was going to come back and steve was going to be safe drafting up propaganda posters or picking up trash or whatever, and he was going to find himself a girl and find steve a girl and this entire war is going to be a great adventure, and he’s leaving the hero and he will come back still a hero. it’s not that he’s blind to the casualties of war - ‘this isn’t a back alley, steve.’ - it’s just that he didn’t think those same risks would apply to himself; not in the sense that he thought he wouldn’t die, but in the sense that he thought he wouldn’t have to get his hands dirty.
and that’s really what it is - it’s envy in some respects, but mostly i think it’s bitterness and it’s resentment; not at steve - never at steve - but at this war and at the universe and at this army and this country for leaving him for dead, for selling him this idea of glory and adventure and giving him instead two weeks on a bench screaming himself hoarse while the higher ups washed their hands and said there was nothing they could do. this is how the war narrative goes: the boy soldier goes to war and overcomes his hardships, he gets the girl and he punches the bad guy in the face. he comes back a man and he might be scarred and changed and he might have bad dreams, but he comes back whole. bucky barnes did not come back whole. bucky barnes, in all the ways that matter, did not come back. the great part of the first captain america film - even though it was a straight up hero origin story - is that it subverts that classic war narrative. two boys from brooklyn go to war, and one gets turned into a super soldier while another falls screaming into the abyss, one gets buffed and shined into the symbol of a nation and another gets his hands dirty becoming the underside of the war, but neither one of these boys come back. this is what happens. neither steve rogers nor bucky barnes came back whole. neither steve rogers nor bucky barnes ever stopped fighting in that war; so that’s really what it is to me, the realization there that this isn’t the fight he signed up for, that yes, steve just saved a couple hundred men single handedly but what does it say about the people he’s fighting for that steve had to do that alone in the first place? what does it say about the people he’s volunteering himself for that they’d leave these people to die screaming themselves hoarse on a mad scientist’s bench?
and then the fact that steve wants to go back. that he’s so good and so true and so kind and so stupid that he can’t see what bucky sees, that these people will rip him up and spit him back out only they never do and never can because steve is just. that. good. and he wants to go back, and on the surface - at least right at this point - he’s living out the war hero narrative that should be bucky’s, was bucky’s for all intents and purposes, that the same experience that ruined him from inside out and changed him in ways he couldn’t even put his finger on only buffed steve’s shine more and made him the hero, the icon, the myth. bucky comes back from the hydra base the bare husk of what he had been. steve came more as more. and you can love someone with your whole heart - as bucky does - you can be willing to do anything for them, but some part of you, something small and ugly and dark, it’s always going to be resentful that the worst experience of your life is the best adventure of someone else’s. some part of him will always be screaming on that bench.