Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Real Hiatus

I've always appreciated all of the support more than words can say, but for the time being, a true hiatus is necessary. A drunk post here and there leads everyone to think that I/We are fucked for life and that's not my AIM.

Sure, everything is bizarre and weird and we're (some of us) trying to find the math in it all, but the truth is that too damn many people know who I am and what's going on, and I'm not comfortable sharing anything anymore. Rather than build a wall around myself, I'll find a new outlet, and as guaranteed, I'll be good as gold, but you can bet sure as shit that I'm pouring garbage out SOMEWHERE. All I ask is that there are no worries from the faithful ones, and that you have enough faith to trust that I'll be fine, although angry and confused for a bit, but I'll find my own way and all will be fine.

The blog's been greater than Awesome, but I'm camwhoring without the cam at this point, and I can't appreciate that. I'm not anonymous and I'm not no one anymore. Now that I'm home, it doesn't matter at all. This post itself has been narcissistic enough.

Thanks a billion, going under the radar til I have ALL my shit together, a-thankya-vary-much!

-Mel Brooks

Not Short Enough

First and foremost, our old pal GI Kate was interviewed for a project tentatively called "Women Of The Military". She'll tell you how it is, so check it out. http://myamericaniraqlife.blogspot.com/2008/06/women-of-militarytrailer.html

Alarm goes off at six in the morning but you've been in and out of consciousness for the past half hour. Like your body just knows that it has to be up soon. It's ingrained into you, that fear of being late or not being in the right place at the right time.

Morning PT. Completely unmotivated and indifferent, just going along to get along. You don't even bother to count days or even months. Its starting to look like The Purgatorium just shifted gears. Monotorium. Nauseum. Minimum security prison. You can't even act like the whiny bitch that you want to, cuz "they" will crush your balls. Go along. Get along. Pray you don't get hit with the Stop-Loss. Crawl towards your ETS date. Shrug shit off. Groan and sigh and look at your watch.

Don't fuck up.

Just wait it out and be that upstanding soldier that you're supposed to be. The game plan for now? Eh, I'll just keep the ol' mouth shut and do a whole lot more of the going along and see how well it gets me along. As mush as I'd love to completely let go and let the bird fly and sound off with a fuck-off, it just isn't worth it. The Army can fuck your world up and it/they will if you cross them/it.

Hey, you're just serving the last year of your sentence. Your crime? Enlistment.

So be it, may the paychecks flow. Gimme that money, then gimme that GI Bill, you know, the new and improved super beefy one. Yeah, I want that. I need it. Earned it. Fork it the fuck over, Unc Sam. Gimme what you promised and don't you dare fucking start spouting off with some tiny print bullshit.

Gimme what's mine and I'll go quietly.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Agony Of Gestation

I received a lot of comments recently, all of them very profound, atleast to me.

One in particular was unapologetic and honest, sympathetic without kissing any ass or pulling any punches. It was a bitch-slap that I was happy to receive. I was relieved that someone would actually have this sort of insight that I needed. For those who hadn't found it yet:

"So, tell me, what did you expect? By now, you must realize you were sent out on a shit load of lies and fabrications. Do you expect assholes like that to possess even a shred of decency? Sorry, kid, they don't. So, no, don't expect a thank you note from Dick Cheney.

Previously, you said, "Deny it all you want, but its the truth. The second day we were back, we went right back to not meaning shit to anyone except our mothers." Which, of course, implies that you actually have mothers that give a shit. But, correctly, accepts that nobody else does. Hey, they're shopping, they're doing their duty. Leave them alone.

Welcome to it, bitch. No, they don't care. Accept it. Deal. Move on. It'll save time and heartache if you do. Oh, you'll always be pissed that a bunch of totally ungrateful fuckers put your ass, not theirs, on the line. That they profited while you suffered. And then threatened you when you objected to being treated like shit.

I mean, sure, "Thank you for your service." hugs and kisses, warm fuzzies and that shit. But you can feel it's not really there. You're dangerous now. For the rest of your life, you're potentially lethal. And, of all the stupid shit these assholes can come up with, a bunch of pogue MPs are going to threaten you with . . . what? Haji's tougher than any pogue. You got through that, didn't you?

Didja ever wonder why the 'Nam vets kept an autoloader around? Why every now and then they just go bust loose on bottles and cans? Same shit.

OK, it sucks. Man up. Deal. Get that education. Wring every cent of benefits out of the government you can. Nobody's coming around handing this shit out. You have to go get it.

Oh, yeah, good luck."

Kudos to this cat, that's all I gotta say about that. Any flavor of wakeup call, I'm glad to taste it. I'm not the type to want to feel sorry for myself. That inhibits PROGRESS. I woke up in the middle of the other night, with the first IraqMare I'd had in months.

The heaviest volume of small arms fire that I could ever fathom was coming down on me and the rest of my squad. This squad was a mix of guys from our company, strangely enough. I heard the zip/zooom/unexplainable noise of passing bullets, and the crack of the rifles firing them, and the smack of the rounds hitting the shitty poorly constructed walls around me.

I saw the tracers streak through the air, and rounds punched holes through the bagginess of my sleeves and pant legs, caught the outter-most edges of my helmet, completely OUTLINED MY BODY with bullets, and all we could do was shout to each other and blindly blast rounds back in the general direction and scramble for cover, dirt kicking up all around us, getting in our eyes, ammo pouches on my body army getting hit and fucking up my extra ammo, everything narrowly missing me, and rather than considering it all a miracle, I just realized that my luck couldn't last much longer and I had to do something to get away from it, and just as I sprinted from the half-cover of one building and tried to make it to a dirt-and-grass birm--

I woke up.

It wasn't a startle and a jump, I didn't throw punches. My eyes just opened.

I looked at my girlfriend, then I looked around the room. Tried to get my bearings. Realized where I was, for the most part. Rationalized it all for a few seconds while I rolled over and faced the window. Looked at traffic through a narrow slit though the curtains.

Different world.

I closed my eyes again and crashed.

Things are getting a lot easier, making plenty more sense now. Sure, the occasional weirdness pops up, and yeah, I won't really touch hard liquor anymore, for fear of God Knows What, but now I've got my feet on the ground.

That, and I just bought a SICK Schecter Diamond Series Damien-FR with inactive EMG pickups, and lemme tell ya, even on a tiny Fender practice amp, the sounds are astounding. That and GTA4, microbrews, and good company are seeing me through just fine.

Unarmed and Unharmed, signing out.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


It's time for one.

Lots of shrugging of the shoulders and grunts of indifference, playing along, going with the grind because the alternative just isn't worth the heartache and punishment. Cog in the system kinda thing. I got a whole lotta nothing to say. Same story over and over again: we're back, it's strange, it's pretty easy, it's odd and weird, some things are annoying as hell, but all in all, it can all fuck right off, because we're home and we aren't armed and clad in ridiculous equipment. The neighborhoods are civilized and now we are too. Honest.

Started the process of signing up for college classes, for this last year. Keep me busy. Gives me goals that I actually give a shit about. Gonna learn sum'n.

I'm gonna be just like you.


We're back now. Back in the states.

Back to the booze. Back to the insanity of normal living. Fresh introduction to ridiculous gas prices. Great guys coming home to disastrous situations. The most unexpected, failed marriaged, and thankya very much Uncle Sam. Seeing as ol' Unc gives such a shit about fixing these quiet problems. Cheating wives. And who can blame who? Gone for over a year, what is a human being to do?

Just don't discredit the army, and everything is ok. Fuck you, Joe. Figure it out.

The Army cares about families. Really, it does. And that's why the happiest couples are in such an interesting state. That's why a married guy is crashing in the extra space in my room. Because we're all such heroes, we're all supported oh so much. But I guess refusing the dick is a bit much to ask from married women. I guess this is just our new culture. More money for the lawyers.

Here is your shiny happy future! Repetitive briefings filled with scare tactics, to the point where you don't even want to leave your room because it is a FACT that you will fuck up and the Army will destroy you. You're back, and "thank you" and all that, but really, hardly anyone truly cares. You're not in Iraq anymore, you're just another "vet" and yawn an' fuckoff kindly. Deny it all you want, but its the truth. The second day we were back, we went right back to not meaning shit to anyone except our mothers.

When I left, phones flipped open, but made sense. Now my phone has a keyboard and a touch screen. I should need a degree from MIT to run the bastard. You can't find a normal TV, they're all flat pannel HD spreadyercheeksandcoughupthecash crazy contraptions. Now I can see all the starlets blemishes in SUPER HIGH DEFINITION.

Sure, I catch myself scanning the freeway in high def, and the strangely shaped roofs. The shops and malls and hotels and godknowswhat. All to find even less.

"Oh, you're [Father]'s son, the one that just came back from Iraq?! How was it? Was it fun???"

I couldn't make this up if I tried. I've just been holding my tongue, being on my best behavior. That is, til I ended up at a friend's house, this friend being dead, and talking to his widowed wife, drinking wine and feeling awkward. Before I know it, I'm on the porch, hiding from everyone else, and the faucet is turned on, and I'm completely losing it, trying to find logic behind everything when I know that there is none. Trying to come to grips that one of the greatest people that I'll ever meet wasn't able to come home, and now I'm a guest in his wife's house. Oh you can bet I hung my head.

And then I went back to the Consumer Binge, namely in the mall. Sure, the Arabic fellow selling lotion didn't deserve the instinctive freak-out that I gave him, or the threats of bodily harm. He didn't deserve my desire to stomp the life out of him, but what business did he have being in my homeland, freedom aside?

Half the time, it's like I'm still There. The other half of the time, it's ALMOST like I had never actually left. Maybe just slept in. But now people are "proud" of me for doing whatever it is that I did.

I asked a Vietnam Vet a few questions. He said that it took him no time at all to readjust. Once again, we were the weird ones. Step outside and hear some other unit at the range unloading rounds, and for a second, it could be another firefight in Dourah, Baghdad. But no, it's not.

You're home now. You're no one again. All thanks aside, you're just a Joe. And no one here gives a shit. Most of 'em have done it, and the ones who haven't, well those newbie bastards are heading there sooner than soon. No ticker tape parade. Just a slideshow. Powerpoint.

Just liquor. Pouring as much of it into your face as you can, just as long as you don't have to work the next morning (even then, it's debatable). Everything is explainable, but nothing makes SENSE. We got no action, we got no motion. Don't think the boy can play much anymore.

We're kinda just like the rest of you now. Trying our damndest anyway. Got another year left. Then four years inactive.

Far as anyone else is concerned, I was never there. Never once.