Seeing the Light (Coming Home is a Religious Experience)


October 29, 2006  Sunday

Hey guys.  Overall today, I am doing well.  It is a “6” day out of ten, which must be graded, as always, on the Naval Curve.  I have a countdown drawn out next to me.  In the lower corner is Africa, and then there are thirty circles in descending numbers winding their way towards the States at the top.  Along the way to guide us: a pirate ship, an old-fashioned sea monster, and a mermaid pointing home.  I was just looking at the computer countdown a moment ago, and a big blue “14” (for the number of days left) was staring back at me.  It is surreal, yes, for me to think that the time is finally coming when this monotony will be over, after countless times I’ve wished for it.

And none too soon.  People really are getting antsy around me, and some are directing their anxiousness into carelessness or insubordination.  But come on, the guys in question have been grueling nonstop for months- what do you expect?  The worst part is, any held in high enough account for their actions, could be kept from leaving the ship, even after we get home, for another month!  Sigh…  I’m just glad that will not be me.  If anything, I will be entirely “happy” to do whatever I’m asked, and keep at it for another 39 days(!), and walk out of here soon with no problems.

As for the situation here, I am like the dwindling state of my boots.  My are my boot camp boots, the only things I believe I have carried with my thought these years, are in them I have taken all my steps.  So I’m going to see it through with these boots I have, even though they now have large holes in the seems and very battered.  So is its wearer.  I am told every so often, “Carlson, got some new boots.  But my footwear has nothing to fear–we are going to finish this together.

A bright face is spun on it, for appearances, but the ship itself seems to be pleading for a merciful death.  We do have food now, but the last supply had cockroaches climbing all over the boxes.  To know this, then anything further is completely within the realm of possibility.  If anything else, I know by first hand experience the state of the American uniformed individual- amid all the blustery talk and self-righteous grandstanding.  If I were not here (and this is by no means the Dante’s lowest point down the Inferno) I might have a slantingly sunny view of our nation’s greater, sad snafu (which is actually a real WWII acronym, and quite fitting: Situation Normal, All F’ed Up), or worse yet, beyond the daily read of the paper I might not think anything of it at all, which would be the more callous crime.  For all that I am opposed to current affairs and their continuing spiral, isn’t it worse how it seems a top-rated reality show and nothing more to 90% of the country?

Funny, that all wasn’t even what I was thinking about writing, but perhaps that is where the Real comes from.  Anyway.  My few cents for the day wanted to say that I have been thinking about how good a quality Mexican meal sounds. (Caution: Watch for wide turns in conversation).  Oh, and I want to go to Starbucks, and have all of the seasonal blends. That sounds scrumptious right now.  Pumpkin Spice, Nutmeg Something-or-other…

Are you both working on lessons and studying?  I am studying and taking a test this weekend too, so we can motivate each other… telepathically!  Yes, that is how I am spending my time as well, both in the last few hours, and then even later on tonight.  Anymore I am not phased by even thinking of things like “weekends.”  There are workdays, and one day we get to sleep in a little longer before working.  I don’t think being home and then having complete freedom will leave me senseless after so much rigidity.  I am still just as Will-like: delightfully askew, much too creative and independently streaked to be caged any longer.

Thank you for letting me rattle and ramble for a while, it was good just to see where this letter would be without borders.  Like always, I might leave this keyboard for awhile, but you never leave me.



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