Thursday, October 29, 2009

I Will Also Miss The Rains Down In Africa

On the subject of my rapidly approaching combat deployment I have been fairly quiet. After some reflection I suppose because I am ambivalent toward the entire thing. Its going to happen, it has been going to happen, it will be happening and that just the way it is.
I'll miss home and booze and women and personal space and trees and grass and the internet and shit, but life goes on.

I thought I had more to say about that, guess not.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

We're Going Down Swinging

Sometimes it feels like every moment of existence is worthless. Sometimes nothing in the whole fucking world fucking matters.


It does.

Never ever ever ever think that a single second of your life doesn't matter. Anything you do, everything you experience is worth something.
It might not be awesome or terrible or noteworthy, but it in someway somehow affects you as a human being. We are terribly holistic creatures. There is no part of life that is interred by just one facet of our lives. That is to say nothing can be disconnected from anything else.

This world, this horrible terrifying world is a journey we all undertake. Along the way there are so many things. There is school and birth and t-ball and soccer and baseball hats and breastfeeding and sex and history and petting zoos and music and snowballs and computers and dinosaurs and spelling bees and Power Rangers and art and jean shorts and electricity and drugs and books and music and pictures from high school dances and so many other things.

In The Spirit Of Full Disclosure I'm Drunk Right Now

I write drunk too much. Or so I think. Maybe that's my thing. Maybe I'm not as smart as I think I am. Ever since I was a little kid my parents and my teachers have been saying shit about I'm smart and just never apply myself and you know what? Since they started saying that shit I've been terrified that it isn't true. I have a huge fear of failure because everyone has some expectation of me to be smart and together and do better than I have been doing.
So there. That's out there. Let's move on.

Some people don't think Hemingway is one of the best American writers of all time. Far be it for me to criticize the critics, but I shall. I have a feeling that those who would deride H-Dog are:
A. Feminine
B. Wealthy
C. Happy, and/or
D. Boring

This is just something I think so don't get bent outta shape or anything, but to quote a girl I know; come the fuck on... . The man was first and foremost a MAN. And sure, I've read the speculations that he was 'inadequate' in certain departments but I don't see any evidence to support that theory. He fucked as much as anyone else and fathered as many children as was fashionable at the time.
Hemingway expressed in terse and accurate prose how any American male feels during part or all of his life. And what's more, he didn't just write it, he fucking lived it. I do not know another person who won the Bronze Star, the Pulitzer and the Nobel for Literature but if there is drop me a line. He felt the ennui and disenchantment that a man has to deal with throughout his life and found a way to convey that in writing that could be understood simply.
One has to look no farther than The Nick Adams Stories to understand the angst that plagues so may of us in ways we can't say or show. Mr. Hemingway spoke for literally millions of men who couldn't speak for themselves. And his writings continue to speak for us.
Us uncounted masses who, even in this forgiving modern time full of hugs and softness, can never bring ourselves to have an Oprah-couch-moment.

100% Pure Florida AWESOME Juice

I have been pouring over this stuff and it is awesome and I can't keep posting it on Facebook.
This is why being smart is awesome.

Friday, October 23, 2009

West Side Story Is On TV, So That's A Plus

Dear World,

Where are my clothes? I blackout often, as you well know, and have woken up in many different places under many different conditions, yet even in situations where I awake without my clothes on I know where they are. Beside a bed or next to a hot tub or hanging off a lamp or whatever is acceptable World. But waking up in my own bed alone without any sign of my pants is not cool.
Please take steps to ensure this kind of thing doesn't happen again.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Only Grenades I Jump On Are Made By Mikey's

Every so often you hear about some family member of a soldier or sailor or airman or Marine that has been killed in battle and takes it upon their self to "find an answer" to why their son is dead. They protest or petition congress or make websites or blame someone.

Fuck them.

I'm sure they think they're doing the right thing, saying America shouldn't be sending soldiers to die wherever it is we're sent to die and demanding answers. And I imagine that having a family member die in a war you don't understand is just about the most terrible thing that can happen. But we haven't had a draft in 40 years and everyone knows what they're getting into when they sign the paper and raise their hand. These people who say the president or congress or the military killed their son are just sad and selfish. And I hope they don't believe in heaven, because if their sons could see them parading around looking for someone to blame they'd be ashamed. The guy to blame is either the man who pulled the trigger or the guy who signed his life away. No one else.
And I hope that if I die no one will be mad at anyone but Hajji for blowing me up and at me for being such an ass that I got myself blown up.
Because that's it folks, the buck stops there.

Monday, October 12, 2009

"One Day This War's Gonna End..."

It is a widely studied fact that olfactory memory is one of the strongest types of memory in human beings. (This is the part where I would reference studies to you right now, but since I'm not a college student nor a pompous ass I won't.) I have found this to be abundantly true in my own life.

A perfect example is the memory about Italy I wrote about just the other day, which was brought on by the smell of a beer. One whiff and it wasn't just a memory, but a feeling that was recalled to my mind.
Another very particular smell reminds me of a certain girl and certain things we used to do to each other years ago, and when I smell that smell; her smell, it drives me crazy.
And just now walking into my barracks room I smelled another. The smell of fall that comes through a window left open at night when its just a little too late in the season for windows to be left open. I don't know how that smell found itself all the way down into this hellish desert, but I'm glad it did.
It makes me think of waking up late at night when I was in middle school and lying with my head as close to the window as I could get it until I fell back asleep. It makes me think of coming back from college to find that my house wasn't Home anymore, and even my room wasn't My Room anymore. It makes me think of getting home late from work at the restaurant and sitting on my bed feeling cold and tired and alone, confused by everything that had happened.

I know those memories might not seem like very fond ones but they're strangely comforting. I don't really know why.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Damn You Walt FREAKING Whitman!!

Yes, I was inspired by that commercial. But this is a great fucking poem.

Pioneers! O Pioneers!

COME my tan-faced children,
Follow well in order, get your weapons ready,
Have you your pistols? have you your sharp-edged axes?
Pioneers! O pioneers!
For we cannot tarry here,
We must march my darlings, we must bear the brunt of danger,
We the youthful sinewy races, all the rest on us depend,
Pioneers! O pioneers!
O you youths, Western youths,
So impatient, full of action, full of manly pride and friendship,
Plain I see you Western youths, see you tramping with the foremost,
Pioneers! O pioneers!
Have the elder races halted?
Do they droop and end their lesson, wearied over there beyond the seas?
We take up the task eternal, and the burden and the lesson,
Pioneers! O pioneers!
All the past we leave behind,
We debouch upon a newer mightier world, varied world,
Fresh and strong the world we seize, world of labor and the march,
Pioneers! O pioneers!
We detachments steady throwing,
Down the edges, through the passes, up the mountains steep,
Conquering, holding, daring, venturing as we go the unknown ways,
Pioneers! O pioneers!
We primeval forests felling,
We the rivers stemming, vexing we and piercing deep the mines within,
We the surface broad surveying, we the virgin soil upheaving,
Pioneers! O pioneers!
Colorado men are we,
From the peaks gigantic, from the great sierras and the high plateaus,
From the mine and from the gully, from the hunting trail we come,
Pioneers! O pioneers!
From Nebraska, from Arkansas,
Central inland race are we, from Missouri, with the continental blood intervein'd,
All the hands of comrades clasping, all the Southern, all the Northern,
Pioneers! O pioneers!
O resistless restless race!
O beloved race in all! O my breast aches with tender love for all!
O I mourn and yet exult, I am rapt with love for all,
Pioneers! O pioneers!
Raise the mighty mother mistress,
Waving high the delicate mistress, over all the starry mistress,
(bend your heads all,)
Raise the fang'd and warlike mistress, stern, impassive, weapon'd mistress,
Pioneers! O pioneers!
See my children, resolute children,
By those swarms upon our rear we must never yield or falter,
Ages back in ghostly millions frowning there behind us urging,
Pioneers! O pioneers!
On and on the compact ranks,
With accessions ever waiting, with the places of the dead quickly fill'd,
Through the battle, through defeat, moving yet and never stopping,
Pioneers! O pioneers!
O to die advancing on!
Are there some of us to droop and die? has the hour come?
Then upon the march we fittest die, soon and sure the gap is fill'd.
Pioneers! O pioneers!
All the pulses of the world,
Falling in they beat for us, with the Western movement beat,
Holding single or together, steady moving to the front, all for us,
Pioneers! O pioneers!
Life's involv'd and varied pageants,
All the forms and shows, all the workmen at their work,
All the seamen and the landsmen, all the masters with their slaves,
Pioneers! O pioneers!
All the hapless silent lovers,
All the prisoners in the prisons, all the righteous and the wicked,
All the joyous, all the sorrowing, all the living, all the dying,
Pioneers! O pioneers!
I too with my soul and body,
We, a curious trio, picking, wandering on our way,
Through these shores amid the shadows, with the apparitions pressing,
Pioneers! O pioneers!
Lo, the darting bowling orb!
Lo, the brother orbs around, all the clustering suns and planets,
All the dazzling days, all the mystic nights with dreams,
Pioneers! O pioneers!
These are of us, they are with us,
All for primal needed work, while the followers there in embryo wait behind,
We to-day's procession heading, we the route for travel clearing,
Pioneers! O pioneers!
O you daughters of the West!
O you young and elder daughters! O you mothers and you wives!
Never must you be divided, in our ranks you move united,
Pioneers! O pioneers!
Minstrels latent on the prairies!
(Shrouded bards of other lands, you may rest, you have done your work,)
Soon I hear you coming warbling, soon you rise and tramp amid us,
Pioneers! O pioneers!
Not for delectations sweet,
Not the cushion and the slipper, not the peaceful and the studious,
Not the riches safe and palling, not for us the tame enjoyment,
Pioneers! O pioneers!
Do the feasters gluttonous feast?
Do the corpulent sleepers sleep? have they lock'd and bolted doors?
Still be ours the diet hard, and the blanket on the ground,
Pioneers! O pioneers!
Has the night descended?
Was the road of late so toilsome? did we stop discouraged nodding on our way?
Yet a passing hour I yield you in your tracks to pause oblivious,
Pioneers! O pioneers!
Till with sound of trumpet,
Far, far off the daybreak call-hark! how loud and clear I hear it wind,
Swift! to the head of the army!-swift! spring to your places,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Dr. Malone Was Right; I Have Been To China

Today I went to the Shoppette (which if I haven't explained to you/you're not a military savvy person is a gas station with all kinds of liquor they sell tax-free 24/7) and wanted to buy some good beer to sip on. I went with some Rolling Rock, some Heineken and on a whim I grabbed a deuce-deuce of Stella Artois. When I got back to my room I popped it open and the smell opened my head up.

See I bought it because I hadn't had it before. I recognized it but have never bought any for whatever reason. So when I smelled it I realized I had drank Stella before, I'd just forgotten. It was in '06 in Milan when I went there with Ralph. I drank lightly all day, everyday and more in the evenings. I had such a great fucking time wandering around the city with a buzz, poking my nose into strange old buildings and nearly getting ran over by pretty ladies on Vespa's. And I guess my nose remembers what the rest of my head has forgotten. Nothing so profound, just a simple joy from life that has eluded me for a little while.

When I have my own place to live it is going to have a porch. Not a deck or a balcony or a stoop, am honest to fucking goodness porch. And I am going to sit on my porch on sunny spring and fall days and breathe the fresh air and drink good beer and watch the whole damn world do whatever it is they think is so important all day long.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Hard Times In New York Town

It seems to me heroin would be awesome. I know its not; anyone who has spent time around your run-of-the-mill scag addict knows this. But I still think that a complete and utter detachment from all earthly concerns with a high that makes sex seem like a chore would be an interesting thing to try. I have decided that should I make it to 80-ish, or develop a terminal disease I'm going to try it.

After reading that I wonder what that says about me. The part about wanting a detachment from reality I mean. What would a psycho-analysis show? What would a shrink say? But the more I think about it the more I don't care.

Who are they to judge me? They have their lives "together" and shit so they are in a position to speak as to my mental well-being? That's bullshit. What makes a person better able to judge another person? Wealth, personal happiness, responsibility, contributions to society at large, the ability to look at themselves in the mirror and be satisfied, or a portmanteau of all these things?
I don't know and anyone who says they do can shove it. Anyone's life is more complex and beautiful and fascinating than anything fiction can come up with and outside judgment just falls flat.

I might not be that rich or beautiful or successful or smart or fast or happy as someone else, but I'm me. And I'm pretty sure that's enough.