What a funky little day. Realized that 4 laps around my block must be more than a mile, being that I ran four laps in fifteen minutes. So if I'm right, that means that I've been running a LOT more than just three miles. If I'm wrong, well I dont think I possibly could be. I remember watching kids WALK the fucking mile and get 15 minutes for their time. And I was sweating balls.
I leave for Butte, Montana, where the MEPS station is, tomorrow. Got to be at the recruiters' at 1:00. This whole waking up before sundown thing is really wearing me out, let me tell ya.
Hung out with some people, my ex girlfriend Chris and some of her friends. Met a cool sophomore named Neil. We had good and gay fun in Target, some dollar store, and the mall. But all things must come to an end, and when this sophomore guy with the coolness joked about me becoming a Splinter Cell kind of guy, killing people for the government, I had to disagree. He meant well, of course, but he said, "Well, it won't be YOU killing anyone, they'll just get in the way of your bullet."
I went home.
At that point, I did my run, avoiding the ice and slush as best as I could, but no one's perfect, and dry pantlegs are for gay people. Upon coming inside, exasperated at the unknown distance around my neighborhizzy, all was tense among my family members. Groovy.
As I downed a glass of water in the most ravenous of manners, as one can imagine, my parental units began to enquire as to when I go to MEPS, when I sign things, and when I leave. They received the bad news that they would get nothing to look over, that they could protect or shelter me in no way. I'm kind of afraid that the E,pty Nest Syndrome will hit my dad a bit harder this time, and for more reasons than the fact that I'll be living further than two blocks away.
He asked what kind of training I'd receive, which meant, he wanted to know what my decided MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) was. I couldn't lie to him. So I told him that I was to become an Infantryman. So much approval there.
He said that no matter what, he'll be proud, and he wishes me the best. He hates the idea that I didn't take his advice. That I'm not learning Satellite Communications or Electrician first. That I'm not joining the Navy or Air Force.
You've been in a similar situation before, many of them. You knew the apprehensive fear when you had a shitty report card, or a phone call home from a teacher (or you know that the UPS truck that you nailed with a rock flung from your WristRocket slingshot carried a driver that knows your family, damned small towns). You've been there, for the wait, walked your own long mile to the chair. You've had the drymouth.
It was always worse then. I don't know what was so different now. Was it because they already knew that you have been planning on doing this for some time, and had slowly been taking each step to join? Was it because you knew there was nothing they could do? Or was it because you knew that it didn't matter, because this is what you had to do anyway.
Your overweight Siamese cat senses your calm amongst everyone else's anxiety now, and jumps in your lap, wanting a taste of your apparent ability to maintain clear headed and tranquil. Your mind wanders as you listen to what they say. You're told that you've never been proficiently athletic, which you already know, and always have. You're told that they have no doubt that you CAN be proficiently athletic, which you also already know, and are already working your ass off to prove that to yourself.
Your father then mentions the fact that you've played Real Time Strategy games, and that you seem to be better fit in a job with technological training, or one where you're coordinating the troops movements. This is the part where you stifle a smile and snicker as you think about how BADLY you suck at StarCraft, and all other RTS games for that matter.
They want to know WHAT drives you to be an infantryman? Have you spoken to anyone who was an infantryman? And you tell them no, not personally. You then realize that they won't give up if you play clueless, so you tell them a little bit, praying to god that they might understand atleast a little bit. You tell them:
"When you read the paper or turn on the TV, you hear about these guys that are my age that are deployed in some country they've never been to. They work their asses off, doing a nearly thankless job, while a lot, not all, but a lot of people back in the States either don't care, or even look down on them for what they have to do. And I think about the way people are afraid of being drafted, and the ways they used to avoid it. I realize that the politicians put soldiers in some really screwed up positions, but what can I do about that? I could be another person who stays in their home and shakes their head, but I'd rather raise my hand and offer to help."
There you guys go. Now you have one of my bigger reasons, and you're more than welcome to shake your heads now and call it corny and idealistic.
One thing my dad said tonight:
"You'll go, and you'll be strong. Because now, you HAVE to be."