I just drove, not aiming at anything, then in the late morning I began looking for a place to lie low for a day or two.
Tim O'Brien talks about his life before he got drafted. In this scene though he talks about how he's never told anyone this story before. Not even his wife, or parents, or brother and sister.
I tried to swallow it back. I tried to smile, except I was crying.
Tim recieved a draft notice when he was 21 years old, but he doesn't want to go to the war. Tim becomes upset and doesn't know what to do. He is against what society says he should do. He doesn't want to be embarrassed either though, so he is torn in two and doesn't know what he should do.
I took my suitcase out to the car.
Tim decides to go for a drive but doesn't stop. He ends up driving to a lodge called, Tip Top Lodge, where he meets Elroy Berdahl.
I was a coward. I went to the war.
Tim had a big choice to make, he either had to go to war, or he would run away to Canada. Either decision he makes he would be a coward. If he went to war, it's against his belief of not going to war. If he ran away to Canada, everyone else would believe he's a coward for not serving his country.
Tim packs up to leave for somewhere he didn't want to go to, home, he didn't want to go home because that leads to him going to Vietnam to fight in a war he didn't understand.
Tim O'Brien went to the war in Vietnam, most likely saw lots of people die and most likely felt terrible about what he had done. He had not died though and lived to tell the story of his decision to go to the war.