January 15, 2005 Friday
The mystery deepens, slightly. Chief Myers asked me this morning, without an explanation to accompany it, how far I have gotten in ITASS, which is the ASW class in San Diego that prospective sonar techs take. I told him I had gotten halfway through. Later on I ran across Master Chief and remembered to ask about the certainty of an eval., which is important for points when trying to advance to the next pay grade. He said I would be sure to get one, and it would reflect the work I’ve done, which is somewhat of a relief.
Tonight at dinner while I was eating Rhea came by and talked with me for awhile. The normally casually smiling Rhea and his chummy, California good-mood was replaced but a bit of meloncoly. Most of it had to do with his girlfriend back in Nebraska. He had brought her a promise ring to take back home with him for Christmas, yet while at home she decided for whatever reason that she could find something that isn’t stuck out on the East Coast. I felt horrible for him.
Girls often seem to be the streaming lights outside a speeding train. I’ll slow down one of these lights and call her Sarah. Even though I have to work this weekend I was out for a while to unwind at a place just off base. Karaoke was playing, and one brave but off-key girl could not help but be noticed. Afterwards she returned to a group sitting at a table, including a guy that seemed at the same time dismissive and possessive. After a while she came over and talked some to someone next to me and returned again later still. Finally she gives me a look and says, “So, why are you being so distant?” I quickly reply, “I’ve just been waiting for the perfect moment,” and when she asked when that was I said, “Now.” I learned that Sarah is from Dallas, Texas (who knew?) and a gunner’s mate on a destroyer, having been in for three years. I mentioned that I saw her sing, to which she says she does much better when not surrounded by lots of people. I like that she said she reads, among other things. She gave me her number and asked for mine as I kept an eye on the guy at the table. Sure enough he soon comes over and announces he is about to leave, implying that she needed to leave too.