I remember that Tuesday, late in July. It was the first day of that class, and I was too lazy to put my contacts in that morning. My solution for this was to find a seat in the front row so that I could still see the board clearly. There was only one seat open in that row, and I sat down, not paying much attention who I was sharing that station with. A couple hours into the class I made a passable attempt at conversation, only to receive an inaudible reply with a hint of coffee breath. She was nothing really that interested me at the time.
I still have trouble remembering how I got you to come with us during that first trip to Tucson. Perhaps I was knocking on all the doors in the barracks, hoping to try and get as many people as I could to come along in some vain attempt to convince myself that I wasn’t as much of a social reject I believed? Anyhow, there I found myself wanting to converse with you more, which Peters noted in crass fashion while we sat around the hookah before the drunken Rock Band shenanigans later that night. I remember quickly rebuking his statement, mostly because I don’t like to admit when Peters is right.
The next morning I remember knocking on your door to see if you wanted to get some brunch at Denny’s to help with the hangover. You told me of your emergency at home and I immediately offered to help you get to the airport, passing it off as my shallow attempt to miss out on PT the next morning. During the drive to the airport, I felt somewhat saddened by the predicament you found yourself in, which was odd to me, for I rarely care for the affairs of others.
Weeks later when I was picking you up, I was hoping you would be put back into class despite knowing that it was highly unlikely due to the amount of time you had missed. I didn’t know why, but I wanted to spend as much time with you as possible. My squad members were whispering to each other in the motor pool that I was growing attracted to you, which I angrily dismissed as shallow, school-house gossip. After dropping you off at the airport for the second time, I wondered as to why I said I would stop by in El Paso while driving to Hood. This girl wasn’t going to be anything significant, so why bother?
Class was drawing to a close and I was preoccupied with those border mountains. I hadn’t heard from you in about a week and figured that if I didn’t hear from you relatively soon, I would pass through EP and leave you be. Much to my surprise I received a text the day I was to begin my drive. In hindsight, I should’ve ignored it. Instead I took you to visit one of my gueys and his family, and would’ve spent more time with you that night had it not been for that cranky guey’s early bed time.
Your memory began to fade while I was in Kentucky, driving from one bourbon tasting to another with my Father in some attempt at Father/Son bonding. You texted that you would be coming to Hood for a couple of weeks and I found myself looking forward to November. Those two weeks in November are some of the happiest I’ve had during my stay here. I remember that night where you schooled my ass in pool, and afterwards driving somewhat drunk to McDonalds to get a 2 AM snack, which you ate while we sat outside your hotel. You drunkenly tried force feeding me some of your fries for some reason, probably because you didn’t want to be the only one eating. I remember taking you Waco to feed your Dr. Pepper obsession by being able to go to the soft drink’s museum, taking satisfaction solely in your strange joy in being able to visit the establishment. I was quite pleased in my ability to trick you into picking out your early Christmas/pre-deployment present that last night. I was supposed to disappear then.
Later in December, word came to me that a large number of my gueyes from San Angelo were going to back in EP. I used that as my excuse to drive down, spending many hours trying to convince myself not to call you. I gave in and convinced you to come out despite your busy schedule. I didn’t want to let you go.
Highly intelligent, college educated, attractive, in great shape, a closet-drinker, you’re the type of person I rarely come across, and I can see why I fell for you. On the other hand, it just doesn’t work on so many levels. There’s would definitely be a culture gap, and our deployment schedules are off by a lot. For me, I just had to cut myself off completely. I didn’t want to be distracted, and for the last few months, I had been progressing quite nicely until I saw those printed notes on the first day of class in Savannah. I couldn’t help but remember back to those nights in November, where I was helping you study those same notes over beers. I spent the next five weeks finding myself very distracted by the memories, wondering if you were ok. I had been meaning to write something down on paper as my attempt to come to terms. Admitting is one of the first steps, yes? Normally I’d be apologizing for rambling on in such emo fashion for this long (though I’d be surprise if anyone read this far, if any of this rant at all) and all my grammatical shortcomings, but I’m not. I’m drunk and I needed to do this.
♪I THINK I'VE WALKED TOO CLOSE TO LOVE, AND NOW I'M FALLING IN,Song of the Moment: “Your Arms Feel Like Home” by 3 Doors Down
I'VE FELT SO MANY THINGS THIS WEARY SOUL CAN'T TAKE,
MAYBE YOU CAUGHT ME BY SURPRISE,
THE FIRST TIME I LOOKED INTO YOUR EYES...♪