Now, harder than ever, I'll work the rest of my life to be more than the sum of my broken parts, recalling with reverence the days when only things that kept me from putting a bullet through my head is my genuine fear of God and a closed casket funeral. The nights I spent screaming inside with no sound coming out. The days when it was all I could do to stumble out of my tent and vomit out the word, “Fuuuuuuck!” at the top of my lungs to keep from suffocating. And piecing together the moments of sanity that I have left. Recognizing sounds and images for what they are and not what they represent.
My own episodes of experience are nothing in comparison to what many others could recount. Many people I know have done and seen things no man’s eyes should see, taken mental footage of atrocities no mind should capture or have to remember, and they deal with demons more vicious and vivid than mine will ever be. I don’t claim to have looked the devil in the face, but I know what it means to be in hell.
This is the kind of shit that makes you want to chuck 16 years of service and take it to the house. I'm tired of getting shot at. I'm tired of people I know getting shot at. Tired of people I know getting blown up and dying all around me.
How the hell did this happen? Oh yeah. I said that I was tired of not doing my part. Left the relative safety of The Pentagon for a rapid deployment unit at Fort Drum. But then again, where is really safe? Some fool just got arrested for plotting to bomb The Pentagon with C4 in model airplanes. Lord Jesus.
Now I'm sitting in the desert, feeling that whole fish in the barrel complex, like I'm just waiting for the next round to land. I'm tired of that obnoxious alarm, absolutely the most obscene noise I've ever heard in my life, going off all the time telling me, “Incoming! Incoming!” I'm tired of getting to know people by completing their casualty reports and preparing family notification documents.
How do people do these multiple deployments over and over? They are most certainly better men and women than I could ever hope to be. I will never regret counting myself among them, and when I am no longer among them, they will always be in my prayers. They will for the rest of my life be the people I most admire.
Lord knows, I love every one of them, and I pray for them constantly, wishing I could somehow protect them from all of that from which I cannot even protect myself; but I really want to catch and kick the asses of whoever the little nasty, inconsiderate bitches are who keep using up all the damn water in the shower, and then refuse to flush their own waste down the freakin' toilets.
I mean, my gracious! Everybody went to basic training. Why get to the desert and be a nasty ho? And I just want to kick the men's asses for thinking it's funny. Of course, if you have no problem bathing with a bottle of water and then pissing in the empty bottle to keep from going to the latrine, I guess a woman having a conniption about being out of water would amuse you.
Yes, thank God for baby wipes, but baby wipes were never meant to take the place of running water. Jesus, hold my tongue. Too many of the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart have not been acceptable in Thy sight. Oh Lord, my strength and my redeemer.
I'm so not anymore the person I was when I came here. I don't mind hurting random feelings of anybody who wants to put on their big boy/big girl panties and come at me with a smart mouth. I guess it's somewhat unfair, as they haven't a clue that my words are my weapons, my venom is in my tone, and my inclination to get with them on a whim will leave them sliced to verbal pieces, left telling me how I don't need to get defensive, or how I need to watch my tone. Umm, nope. Tone of voice is everything. Don't start none, won't be none.
Offensive calls for defensive regularly out here. I'm dejected and much disenchanted by what I've been through, and the time to shrivel up and cry foul is not after they've pushed me over the point of pissed off just enough for me to let them know what's on my mind. One of my own monsters, with whom folks become acquainted more than even I'd like.
*This is an excerpt from a journal entry from Monsters Under the Bed, which I'm hoping to have the courage to publish when I get home.