Posts By iron paul

April 20, 2019

Matthew,

Today I walked to the end of the dock where I am staying and I smoked a joint.  I turned on my music, and I took in the scenery, laughing about how unusually easy my life ended up being.  I mean that, too.  I used to think life was so fucking hard.  Maybe things were hard for a while, but I’m sure my anger and my undeveloped frontal cortex probably didn’t do me any favors.

So many decisions fall on you in your 20s, and you’re just left to clean up the fucking mess after that.  If you’re rich, maybe somebody cleans up for you.  If you’re hot, maybe you get out by being a trophy spouse.  Then again, some people make better decisions.  Some people get places through working hard and having goals.  Not everyone is self-sabotaging.

Tiptoeing around my hometown the way I have been doing has been nice, but it has also solidified that I need to gather myself for the next big play.  There’s no place for me here long-term.  This is a nice, padded cell, so whenever I’ve worked out all of my shit I’m going to re-enter the world and try and start my future with my patient mermaid wife.

Okay, stupid.  I love you.

Pete

Iron Paul’s Amazing Playlist

Chuck Berry – Sweet Little Sixteen

Velvet Underground – Femme Fatale

The Raincoats – Fairytale in the Supermarket

Magazine – The Light Pours Out of Me

Tenpole Tudor – Wunderbar

The Eyes – TAQN

Kleenex – Wig-Wam

The Jam – In the City

New York Dolls – Subway Train

Little Richard – Long Tall Sally

David Bowie – The Supermen

Strawberry Alarm Clock – Incense and Peppermints

The Creation – Painter Man

Donovan – Atlantis

Ramones – Slug

Missing Persons – Destination Unknown

Buddy Holly – Rave On

The Chambers Brothers – Time Has Come Today

Mo-Dettes – White Mice

 

 

 

April 14, 2019

Matthew,

It’s a privilege to miss somebody the way I miss my wife.  I shed tears if I look at the videos she sends me for too long.  She has a look in her eye that was never there before.

We’re out in the real world now.  We were under a safe roof, and we took it all apart and agreed to face the unknown in order to make us stronger.  I’m proud to be married to a woman who pushed me to challenge myself.

And I’m proud to have made it this far.  I have some weird momentum right now.  My day to day life is awkward and challenging, but my trajectory is undeniable.  It’s all about who you marry, Matthew.

You dumb shit.

Love, Iron Paul
From Space

In two weeks I will have been stateside two months.  That’s long enough to be a resident again.  I’ll have some completed tax forms, and I’ll also have updated credit card and bank statements.  That should be enough to renew my license.

After that?  No idea.

It’s a waiting game.  This is an inexpensive place to live, and all I have to do is not be a burden, clean up after myself, and help around the house here and there.  While it is a little weird, it is, at the very least, available.  I can stay here until I get some marching orders one way or another.

In the interim, I’ve taken the past several days to start an exercise routine again.  I hit the ground and gained fifteen pounds within my first month, and normally I have way more self-discipline than that.

There’s not much to do.  I mean, there is always something to do, but there are days where I think I need to abandon all my persistent fretting and just let myself relax.  I’ve figured how to get just about anything delivered to my residence, so now it’s time to see if I can put it all together and hammer out some kind of routine.

I’m not counting on it, but on Sunday I will be back to work on some writing.  Gotta keep busy while I wait for whatever the next new exciting thread will be in this weird odyssey.

4/7/19

Matthew,

I’ve never watched the sun set behind a cloud until today.  It was a magnificent thing.  Although completely by accident, I saw the very last outer edge dip below a cloud, followed by a warm, red glow.  I think Somebody Somewhere was trying to tell me that I did a good job today.

pete

April Six

Bill, stomping around
Makes this stoner quite nervous.
Let me toke in peace.

A weaselly face.
A well carved out overbite.
The chinless wonder.

Chad is pretty cool
He has daughters and a wife
But still keeps it real

Big Carl keeps it real.
Chuck Norris calls him at home
When he needs some help.

This dude, Lyle, he’s cool.
I thought he was a penis,
But I was a dick.

And Bryan Bailey?
He’s a pretty weird fucker,
But I still like him.

Not Your Day, Chico

April 5, 2019

Matthew,

This morning I woke up with the hiccups.  I went to go sit in my usual spot, and immediately got a charlie horse.  The universe hauled back and slapped me in the testicles this morning and said, “Son, not every day is your day.”

So here’s to hoping tomorrow will be my day.

ips

april the fifth

you can’t control them
but you can control yourself
save your energy

staring up at me
parliament light 100s
was this a haiku?

cold brew, cold brew, yeah
i’m awash in its goodness
black nirvana mug

i pooped outside once
i ate too much granola
right before a run

 

 

“Patterns of Misconduct” Preview Chapter (1st draft)

Dub’s Dump

Right at the end of Sgt. Windsor’s time with our unit, we had a top-down drug screening with the entire HHC portion of the 101st.  This drug screening was a part of an installation-wide effort to crack down on post-deployment drug use, specifically marijuana.

Because the PAD and HHC were on their own, we were responsible for submitting our own samples to the headquarters.  As such, we were free to do our drug screenings away from the rest of the other units, which were normally comprised of fifty soldiers.  Try picturing that, by the way:  an aviation hangar full of people who are all irritated about having to get up too early to pee in a cup in front of somebody.

Oh, yeah… I might have left that part out.

That’s right.  As a part of the drug screening, you’d have to be supervised in order to assure that you don’t spoil the sample.  For those of you who are unaware of how to do such a thing, never you mind.  There are quite a few gross or dumb ways to supposedly cheat the system, but as ineffective as they probably are, the military cuts out the chance of them working even more by assigning a designated supervisor.

But honestly, you get used to people looking at your wiener.  It starts happening right away at MEPS.  There aren’t any shower curtains in basic training, either.  Some people hated it.  I hated it in the beginning, but I also hated fungus and illness.  I got over people seeing Little Devon quickly because of it.

We wouldn’t have too many other drug screenings after this one.  I think we might have had only one more.  I had more drug screenings in the first six months than I did for the rest of my career.  Funny, I had never thought about that until right now.

*****

The day of the screening came.  On the grounds that Sgt. Windsor was the junior of the group (the group consisting of only he and SSG Cooper), he was assigned the duty of “observing” the sample collection.  SSG Cooper further suggested that the experience would be good for his junior companion, as it would no doubt bolster his promotion file.

I felt bad for Sgt. Windsor.  He had a tough morning ahead.  Though there were maybe a dozen of us, this was not dignified for anyone involved.  You see, normally when it is a company-wide collection, it’s a lab tech or a medic who takes the sample.  In other words, it’s normally not somebody you have to see all the time.  I was going to have to urinate in front of my (on-again, off-again) buddy, and then go back to work with him.  I felt bad for all parties involved.

But I handled my business.  I smacked down a Diet Coke when I woke up, and I was able to produce with little issue.  Windsor faked like he was going to knock the jar out of my hand when I turned around, and I almost dropped the thing.  I laughed loudly in a situation that really didn’t have much room for laughter.

When the echo of my outburst stopped, Windsor called for the next soldier.  It was supposed to be Randell, but Dub was behind Randell, raising his hand.  He asked Sgt. Windsor if he could go next, and Windsor agreed.

Hastily, Dub scurried over to the stall where we were supposed to pee, then promptly turned around and took a seat.  I suppose he didn’t know Windsor was in the stall, because they both let out a few startled noises and curse words.

“Dub!”  Windsor shouted.

“Yes, sarge?”

“Where’s the cup?”  Windsor asked

“Oh, I didn’t need it.”  Dub said, matter-of-factly.

“The hell you mean you didn’t need it?”  Sgt. Windsor was somewhere between laughing and screaming.

“I had to go ‘number two,’ sarge!”  Dub replied in earnest.

Sgt. Windsor laughed.  “Well, can’t ya do both?  Can’t ya take the damn cup and stick it down there?”

“I don’t have to do that right now, sarge.”  Dub replied indignantly.

Sgt. Windsor sighed.  “Of course you don’t, soldier.”

So, whoever the poor sap or saps were who had to give a sample after Dub were not so terribly pleased with him.  Sometimes, I swear I understood why people didn’t like him.  He did some off-the-wall goofy stuff sometimes.  Things like this happen and you just can’t believe the awkwardness of it all.  I felt sorry for everyone, and even a little ashamed for being such a stupid little kid and eavesdropping on such a weird scenario.

And on top of that, we had to wait forever for the dude to pee!  Guys were really starting to get mad at Dub.  Me, I was just saying a prayer for the dude.  I’d seen it happen in basic training and I knew it was a long road if a soldier got stage fright.  We might be there all afternoon if Dub didn’t manage to collect himself.

Fortunately, after about another ten minutes Dub produced a sample, and we were all on our way.

*****

There was a lot I took from this incident.  Sgt. Windsor actually played this pretty cool.  I tried to imagine what would have happened if SFC Smalls ended up being the guy taking our samples.  All things considered, Sgt. Windsor allowed my buddy Dub a lot more dignity than a lot of others did.

Another thing I noticed was that Dub was tragically accustomed to being shamed.  He prostrated himself greatly when the ordeal was over, but the worst anybody did was SFC Cooper, who made a few fart noises throughout the day when Dub was in his midst.  Other than that, nobody said much of anything (save one or two who had to enter the smelly latrine).

It was hard watching Dub carry on.  It was clear that the army broke him.  I’d watch him bumble through these situations and wonder to myself how on earth he made it as far as he did.  There were times just like these when I thought to myself that Dub was incredibly high maintenance.  I felt like the system should have eliminated him somewhere in training.

Much like it should have eliminated me.

And was he really the one responsible for my treatment?  Struck called out Dub’s name when my knee gave out and I was accused of shamming.  Was I doomed because of Dub?  I never really got to the bottom of the animosity towards him or towards me, for that matter.

All I know is that the army just isn’t for everyone.

April 5, 2019

Matthew,

My brew is cold.  That’s all I really know.

Frantically, almost absent-mindedly, I write.

pete