A Tale of Desertion

Posted: February 13, 2013 in Uncategorized

Woke up, in pain again, like every other day. The shocking part to me is, that the worst pain isn’t coming from my ’03 compression fracture of T9 and several partially herniated discs below. It’s coming from L3 and below;  the site of the injury I experienced at 19, at work in the vehicle maintenance shop on base, in the Air Force. I went to the infirmary that day, (Tuesday).

They never even personally assessed me. No X-ray.

Just, a prescription for valium and 3 days off. (Wed, Thur, Fri) – go figure.

Wasn’t it nice of my ‘Commander’, to ‘invite’ me (on Thursday), to paint the lines and colors on the 16-bay floor, on Saturday and Sunday, before the Inspector General’s yearly inspection of our building on Monday? Alone. Yeah- by myself.  (Gee, that’s funny, considering that the year before, I was one of five guys doing it – and it took 8 hours.) You do the math.

I could spend far too much of your time with the rest of that story, but we can just leave it at – a trip through attempted suicide, ICU, an Article 86 and 30 mornings of singing “War Pigs” in the shower of the base Correctional Custody building… at the top of my lungs. Oh.. and a 10 day camping trip at Cripple Creek, in the Rockies.

It is quite an experience to wake up just before dawn, surrounded by mountains, trees, and a lake, just outside your tent, getting up, making coffee on your Coleman stove, and walking 50 feet to the water and walkin back 30 minutes later, to that stove and fryin that rainbow trout you just pulled outta the water. Sitting there, eating my breakfast, I remember thinking about basic training. Coach Rice.. aka Dad, advised me to never volunteer for anything, as we had lunch, before he dropped me off at the airport.

First day at Lackland AFB, the drill instructor asks if anyone can bowl, cuz they need guys for a bowling team. The ones who raised their hands spent the next 8 weeks, cleaning bowls… Second day in San Anton’, and I’m already a squad leader, (thanks to the Amador County High School Marching Band – yeah, that’s a shout out, guys)) – and I should mention, I was Squad Leader #1, of 4. Not because I was brilliant in formation, but because I was the shortest of them. Ha! Standing there, trying to ignore the fly in my ear, a flight of soldiers marched by, chanting their cadance- “Shoot her. She counts 2 for 1. Napalm sticks to kids.” Needless to say, with everything that had just transpired, my breakfast lost its flavor as I remembered reading that -the pride of their power will be broken. I knew then, with much sadness, that it was only a matter of time.

Anyways.. back to; narcotics for pain-masking and slow death to internal organs… I’m not taking any. I refuse lab-made pharmaceuticals as much as possible. I’ve taken Herbology and I’ve read the Flexner Report, Mr. Carnegie. I won’t deny taking a T3 or Percocet from a generous person, when all I want to do is cry, but those days are lessened when I picture myself, once again, as a little boy, being called a pussy, by his bully older brother. That re-run serves me well, usually… Not every day, depending on what the need for money forces me to do to myself, the day before… I hate taking the day off. It makes me look like an idiot and kills whatever confidence and dependability that a customer or business owner might have in me. And it damn sure aint like I don’t need the money… believe me.

And so it is, that today, I called off of work, because I cannot (yet) spend another day, bent over, sanding or installing hardwood flooring. Tuesday was just too much and I am sorta busy with the radiating pain and electrical jolts going from my sacrum and hips to my knees and feet.. Sorry. I’m a pussy. My mother jokingly infers that I have a low pain tolerance but, I’m not so sure she really knows, since she read one of my most-thought-out and labored-over “Notes”, so fast that, I thought I was listening to the end of a commercial, where they tell you all the small print in less than half a breath…

So, instead, I’m going to go have my hands Live-Scanned and pay for my CA State Certification for Massage Therapy and get signed up with the ABMP insurance and try not to feel like crap all day about it.




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