July 13, 2006 Thursday
Another happiness I’ve realized today is that most of my close group on the ship are all E-5s, better known as Second Class Petty Officers. It isn’t really like a “class” like you would have in school, or I once had, but there are parallels. Our common touchstones are similar length of time in the Navy, time on a ship, an experience with the everyday unharmoniousness we endure–and burgeoning dreams of another, more earth-bound existence. I suppose what I am very happy for is to have made E-5 myself last December, or I would not feel as much a part of everything. Of the people I see the most some are my friends, and some are merely my co-workers. If they not my friends, it is because I am on the other side a fence that I cannot and do not wish to cross.
The meal tonight was my favorite: Southern night with fried chicken, black-eyed peas, yams, and collard greens. It made me think of recent Thanksgivings at other people’s family’s tables, along this long, strange odyssey of mine.