August 28, 2006 Monday
What a couple of days in the Portsmouth, England along the southern coast. I will take some time in the future to write, but just wanted to let you know I’m okay and I have been way too busy to ever get the computer before now. It was almost entirely work, standing watches, and giving tours. Luckily enough the Navy Days that we were a part of for the first time ever also fell on a bank holiday weekend, so the city was very alive. It was also the only time I ever got off the ship. It’s a long story, but I found myself in a group that did little that I wanted or intended to do, but I guess it’s cool like that. It was pretty maddening though, not even getting the chance to so much as buy a postcard! Sigh… sailors. But I’m a little happy I spent so little time out, in a way, so that it will be unspoiled for when I one day see it for real. I also received your latest packages; I loved it all, including your note on all of the products. I was even lucky enough to have the Sunday comics as part of the packing paper. Thank you very much.
August 29, 2006 Tuesday
Marley: I am so glad that you remained optimistic about your brief stint across the pond. I told my mother that is where you would like to live one day. And, she just gave an agreeing nod to your plans, as if you knew what your destiny was. It was even followed with a…….” it seems like somewhere he could be, it would suit him well”…… It is very rare that she gives those nods and says things like that.
Will: Yes. It was a taste, nothing more. Will I actually live there one day–I don’t know. I definitely don’t go for destiny anymore, which makes me feel all the more alive. I’m in control I’ve come to understand, not some Fate, but that is just what I have found in my own experience. After all, why would destiny ever send me to the Navy, since it is so obviously a contradictory tide. A wrong turn, nothing more, so back it up and begin again. Life to me is still an open road; this must mean I must be doing something right to not yet to tied down yet as many here are. I was a little surprised by how worn everyone seemed to be, in their appearances. The people of Portsmouth were very nice, as were more Germans sailors we also met.
Marley: There will be plenty to see and do when you do go back, hopefully SOON. I need another place to take a holiday.
Will: Hahaha… If you need a holiday then I need a full-fledged sabbatical. It will still be rough once I return, with not a lot of initially time off, but once early December comes I will be free.
Marley: The past few days have been filled with preparing for school, and getting things for my room. I decided on a b-day gift from my mother. This year she is paying for my personal trainer. I am SUPER excited about it!!!!!!! And, I think my dad is sending money. Now I can buy this beautiful black-brown leather Burberry purse I have had my eye on. When I get it, I will send a picture because I am SURE you will want to see it (hahaha). Since when do straight guys care about female accessories????
Will: Anything that makes you happy…
Marley: Oh, you sound so much better. I am not sure if it is a facade but your mood in your writings have me excited about life.
Will: Yes, my excitement has wisely been in moth-balled storage for a while–call it a preservation strategy. What can be healthy about being excited in the midst of a dead-end? Get through each day, endure and know it will one day be over. All of my moods have been the result of this incredible marathon. Now I feel as if on the 18th mile. With each labored step I focus not on how much is left, but how much I have already done, and that my health is no doubt enough to see it until the end. I’ll be sore in the end, but winning is now just crossing the finishing line. Sometimes I have been more upbeat than I have really felt, for the sake of those Home, but with (only) two months until turning finally West I know this is doable; it is now just a question of time. And… what shall I do with my impending freedom? All roads are not the same. Your support has meant so much.
Still, it is not as hard as nuke school, and I’d rather to this than that again. I do feel better. As to my title, I have 99 days left in the Navy, and 74 left until home. I am so excited to have a real life soon–do you know how much simple pleasures will fulfill me? Just to have choice! Most of all, I want to do whatever I want to do now, just because I want to do it. An entire world awaits, now just to choose what is most important to me.
From is something from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas:
“Rum will be absolutely necessary to get me through this night- to polish these notes, this shameful diary… keep the tape machine screaming all night long at top volume: “Allow me to introduce myself… I’m a man of wealth and taste.”
Not for me. Not for the criminal freak in Las Vegas. This place is like the Army: the shark ethic prevails- eat the wounded. In a closed society where everybody’s guilty, the only crime is getting caught. In a world of thieves, the only final sin is stupidity.”
Marley: That book is literally on crack. I am not sure if I could read it. It rambles on too much. I am sure I could write something like it, because I ramble all of the time while writing. Maybe that is why you can get through it. All of my emails have been practice.
Will: Still, it is not as hard as nuke school, and I’d rather to this than that again. I do feel better. As to my title, I have 99 days left in the Navy, and 74 left until home.
Marley: For me it does not feel as though you left long ago. It really does just fell like it happened a couple of weeks ago. It will be all over soon and you can take your much needed sabbatical.
August 31, 2006 Thursday (From Marley)
Don’t worry about not having very much to write. I understand that things go on in your day that may be monotonous. I am sure the last thing you need to do is write about them.
On another note, today I caught an episode of Oprah. Her topic today was the movie Something New. I know it was an old episode but probably one of my favorite ones to watch because it was about bi-cultural couples and the movie, focusing on black women and white men. Did you know it was the first american film to address this type of romantic coupling?
Their first conversation was focused on hair and educating white men on black women’s hair. You have never had to worry about this, because I don’t have “black”hair. But, you do know about my not wanting to dwell in the shower, or the care that must be taken when my hair is straight. (hahahahah) And, that of course brought up the romance. For the most part, I didn’t have to educate you in pleasing a woman of color. The couples that were there didn’t have much to complain about either. the only thing that was funny was how they had to tell their friends about how dating a white guy is different.
Next, was taking white guys home and dancing. The younger couple on actually set dancing limits and it was so cute. They could only dance in public at his accounting functions or where other white people were. But, they were both good about it. They even compared what going to picnics were like. I am sure you could imagine what a picnic with my Dad’s family would be like in comparison to Elmwood’s Fourth of July celebrations.
Lastly, they had a segment which talked about how black men fell about sisters dating white guys. And, I was surprised to hear how they felt. Because we always hear about how angry black women get when they see them with white women. Black men felt as if it was their fault when they lose a sister, very surprising to me.
Basically what I drew from all of the couples is that their relationships are not bi-racial but bi-cultural. Which means they don’t accommodate the racial tones but rather learn new cultures and try Something New. It was a funny episode, and now I need to watch the movie. I think I will buy it and than send it your way.
The whole thing just made me miss you and remember some of our cultural hiccups.