Thursday, November 10, 2005

According to Chief Krekel, food is no longer food.

It is "motherfucking food."

This change to take effect immediately.
How to answer the phone.

"Deck Division office, BMSN Diebold speaking. How may I help you, sir or ma'am?"

Then the obligatory "Yes, sir.....yessir.....nosir......sir, yes, sir.....aye aye, sir." With a few "I dunno, sir" 's and "He ain't here now, sir" 's mixed in.

This happens a bout 60 or 70 times a day.

And that's where your taxes go.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

God. This blog is fucking dismal.

Oh well. You don't have to read it.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

I have become obsessed with the war. It defines me. It is somethign I wanted, more than growing up. And now I don't want it.

As a kid, I would watch my dad, who never spoke about his war. I watched the movies, the jarheads and grunts making history with their rifles, returning home damaged. The first Gulf war consumed my youth, the sandbox the stage for the battle for world peace, the lines of razorwire and humvees, the phalanxes of bitter men the last defense between a man I was convinced could destroy me, safe in my home tucked behind the Oakland hills, invisible to Saddam and his missiles. My dreams always turned to the desert. When I was old enough, I broke and ran, straining towards the sands, the memory of New York and Washington, DC seared into my heart and mind.

The Army would not take me. Years of bad luck had reduced my body, the joints worn down to nothing, my spine twisted. I continued to abuse it, anyway, lifting and running and swimming through searing pain, dreaming of a future as a hero.

The Marines were enthusiastic. They didn't care, they told. Could I run, depsite the pain, could I pull myself through their boot camp? Yes, I answered, I can and I will. As insurance, however, I talked to Navy, as well. They were ecstatic. High ASVAB, above average run times, pushups from sunup to sundown-I was more than qualified. I could be anything, a nuke, a SEAL, aircrew-whatever the fuck I felt like.

The day came to ship out for Parris Island. I had spent the days and weeks prior talking to my father. He told me about his war, about how foolish I was to try and be like him. He wanted the best for me, I now realize. But 17 is a stupid age, the age to do stupid things. I backed out of the USMC, a billet as a mechanized infantryman, safe and still rolling in harm's way, the brain tucked within tons and tons of steel. One month later I left for the Navy.

I saw more war than I could have imagined, too much war for anyone, too much for someone newly minted as 18.

I could have been anything, whatever the fuck I felt like. I should have donw the right thing. I should have stayed a kid. But I swam off into the war, growing up too too fast, shitting away my youth in a steel beast, camouflaged against the endless blue, wasting it like sand, letting the wind carry it off to Bahrain and Jordan and Saudi Arabia, melthig it way with the exhaust of jets and chatter of machine guns.

I became the war. I am no longer Kevin. I am war.

Now to become Kevin again.
To ignore the dead. To dive into the waters of forgetting.

That is what we do, that is why we have come to the war.

Burying the pain of passing. In the sand. The sand that never parts, that runs back into the foxhole in rivers and waves, even as you fight to unearth the desert's heart with nothing but a rusted-out E-tool. Tamping down the grains, wetted down with spit and sweat and foul canteen water. This is what I do. In my mind I standin the desert, on the floor of the earth, under the moon. The moon is trying to flee, but I don't want it to be day yet. I need tome. I need more time.

I am putting my ruck into the hole, now almost full, the weight of the the gear something to keep the rising tide of memory. I am ashamed, but it is something I must do. If I want the war to end, to fall to pieces around me, clearing a salted path to home, I must bury my friend.

The ruck is hidden under the sand. I no longer know where it is. I throw my helmet to the ground, more ballast. I lay my rifle down. I kick sand on the the weapon. The wind helps me, and it soon disappears. A few moments. Some way to say goodbye, for the last time. An ending.

I return to the fire base, to sleep in the back of the 5 ton.

Morning comes. I go through the motions of the war, now second nature. All this in my head, in my guts, a sadness settling in the warmth of my insides.

The day ends. I watch the moon rise and smoke my last cigarette of the day. And when the desert grows darker, I rise. I return to the desert, with my E tool and more ballast.

It is time to bury again. Maybe this time it will be my last goodbye. But I know it won't be. Until I die, and maybe see my friend again, I will always return, to this silent place. And I will dig, trying to bury. But really I am exhuming.