June 2, 2005 Thursday
Alright, charge the coin-operated computer up in Zambia, because this is probably going to a long email, but I will start from the beginning. That would last Friday, the 27th. Id had just gotten off the ship from beginning gone all week and enjoying your messages before driving home to, looking forward to having the entire weekend free. That’s about the time when I got home… and there was a white SUV in my drive. No mail was in the box. Opening the front door, two very fat cats greeted me with stares in the living room. I wasn’t told before my roommates left for cruise that someone would be there when I got back, but they had told a girl named Lydia that she could stay during the summer. My initial reaction when seeing her was, “Oh no.” Not for myself, but for you, because I immediately knew I would have to tell you, and thus be writing an email very similar to the one you are reading now. The only hitch (quite naturally) was how you were going to take it. Perhaps the guys had good intentions; she’s just moved out from her husband’s place (a Marine) and is wrapping up a divorce. She’s staying in Jame’s room (who I guess has decided he no longer has to pay anything for, because she has it taken over). They also left me with a lot more (where has all the money I have given them gone to?) So that was the small part of it, but they kept me out of the loop that I partially left like moving out wouldn’t be so bad.
I actually brought this situation up with someone on the ship a day or two ago, and he asked me in the end what should have been evident in the beginning: “She trusts you, right?” Yes, either by threats of death by right jabs or whatever else (and here Will enlivens the email for no particular purpose), I know my place. Small joking aside, you email topped it for me, when speaking of going with the flow. To fill you in on all the rest she works at the Banque country dance hall during the nights, so we have rarely seen each other so far, and probably seldom ever will, since she seems to be leaving for work about the time I’m getting home. And she knows all about you and thinks I’m lucky. Me too.
Alright, glad to type that all to you, and now I can move on to all the rest. Would you believe has been a pretty last last day 24 hours? The entire reason for your being out is to be an amusement ride of experience on the Atlantic for a big group of midshipmen. They are all 19 and fresh from their first year in college. My job yesterday was taking pictures, which I really got into, trying to find the best shots of everything–because I am an artist. After a tour of the ship they fired off the guns and other demonstrations of naval power. In the afternoon we pulled up alongside a destroyer, pirate style, and started launching water balloons from a makeshift sling-shot from the level, above the bridge. None the thin-plastic projectiles stuck steel, but soon the much larger destroyer overtook us and starting blasting AC/DC’s “Hells Bells” at us, so our captain ordered another, closer run at her. This time we hit her twice, once getting an engineer standing on their deck in the head, while our officers drank non-alcoholic St. Pauli’s Girl. That’s right kids, this is what every day is like… Actually, it seemed, as I went through the day, that I had seen something like all this before, and then it dawned on me. This is just like rush week on campus, and the Elrod is the unpopular, geeky fraternity of last resort that’s really trying to prove they’re cool to the freshmen who have no idea. It kills me. Especially when I overheard one midshipman talking about how–I am not making this up–even though he’s a Journalism major he wants to go Nuke because that’s where the money is.
I just looked out over the water.