Sunday, November 30, 2008

Counting Down

By days.

Weeks, months.

By miles run. Vehicles PMCSed. Hallways mopped.

By loads of laundry. By haircuts. By weekends.

Counting down by movies, details, 24 hour shifts at a desk. By oil changes. Holidays. Phone calls.

By morning report and close of business. By beads of sweat. Speeches and safety briefs.

Counting down by New Arrivals, Old Timers riding off into the sunset. By insults between friends.

By stops at the gate to show the ID. By traffic jams on I-5. Gallons of gas. Episode after episode, channel after channel. By infomercial.

By winks and nods.

By clenched jaws and rolled eyes. Moments of clarity and hours of mundane confusion or blind indifference.

Counting down from each time the boots are tied. By pairs of socks peeled off of sweaty feet.

By meals.

By wakeups.

Friday, November 21, 2008

High On war

I was shutting Fort Lewis out for as long as people would allow before they'd break my concentration. 24 hours at a desk, it's called CQ. Charge of Quarters. If there was a receptionist at Jack Bauer's CTU headquarters. then a CQ shift is one season for them.

I was reading a book full of miscellaneous writings by Henry Rollins when I turned the page and read a new entry that blew my mind. Described my feelings better than I could.

All my war stories are old
They hang like old clothes in the closet
No one wants to hear old war stories
It's all I have right now
My mouth flaps dry in the air
I am in this room pacing the floors
Sun up sun down grinding my teeth
Jumping at shadows waiting
I don't want to think about that old war anymore
It's driving me up the wall with bad insanity
I need new war
High on war

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I Had A Gun Once

Some artillery training exercise in the distance tenses everyone up for a second, that flash moment where the brain demands to know what this trickery is, when it remembers Iraq but it sees Fort Fuckin' Lewis. Then it gets everyone throwing around Iraq stories. Hot potato. One story overlapping another. Arguing. Corrections. Laughter. New guys' ears perking up like dogs.

I look at them, then I look at myself. We're all wearing those weird uniforms that the All American Boys wear in the magazine ads, GoArmy this and that. I got my hair cut just right and my boots bloused, I have my pen and paper on me at all times, my beret tucked away in my cargo pocket and I am fully programmed to routine.

Except I don't give a shit. Iraq is over.

We aren't hitting the training all hard again or anything. Busy work. For whatever reason. Counting down days or weeks or months. But you don't want to make that known. You don't stop being a soldier once you come back from deployment. I got it.

So why don't I FEEL like a soldier? I got this uniform, but I don't really know what it means. I live in this building, but it isn't mine. I don't care to remember it these days. Ready to wash all that dirt off my face and change clothes. Flush my brain out too, full-service, the works.

Just ready to put it all behind me. Disappear like Kaiser Soze. The Great Escape complete with Men In Black memory wipe. "Put that stuff away in a shoe box." Never even mention any of it, never explaining the four year lapse of existence to anyone but potential employers.

And one day when you see me on the street and you won't even realize it. It won't even dawn on you that I was one of those one percenters. Or the one percent of one percent, whatever it is they call us. That was a different lifetime buddy!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Holy friggin' crap, it's November!

Ha ha haha HA HA HA HA HAHA HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAAHHAHAHAAH!!!

WHOOOO!!!!

Aaaaaah hahahahaha.....

Awesome.

[Little haiku for ya.]