Sunday, January 29, 2012
He told me about a time where he had to sneak into a village and dispatch the sentry, a teenage boy, with his knife. He talked about holding the boy as he bled to death over about a minute. His detail was amazing, heart-wrenching and sickening in a way. I understand why he had to do that; the boy with the AK-47 was ready to kill the Americans who were in his country and they simply couldn't allow that. Not to get into politics with this is hard, but I will just say it is a sad series of events.
While I try to keep him off the subject of warfare, it is actually hard being that it is one of the things he and I have most in common with. I can see it in his face and eyes when he talks about certain parts of his experience where he goes somewhere else. His eyes glaze over a bit and sometimes get to the brink of tears, but they don't flow out. It is hard to describe, but he goes to another place in time and his actions get more animated while he speaks. This is a man with passion, training and a lot of horror that never left him.
So, a while ago we were supposed to go on a motorcycle ride and he told me that he was having a tough time with the clutch lever so he wanted to move it back. His hands were beginning to curl in like a fist almost; it is the way a soldier will hold his hands at the Position of Attention. He went to the VA to see what was going on; the results came back with sad news.
The doctors at the VA told him he has ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease) and that is what had been causing many of the issues he had been having. For me, it made sense why he would systematically jump from subject to subject and routinely repeat himself several times in one sitting.
Due to the illness, that is progressively getting worse, he had to sell his motorcycle, he sold his guns and can not even open a door knob. Yesterday I went over and installed some new handles on the garage for him so he can at least get into his beloved shop for tools. I am more than happy to help him in these ways; I can only hope my sons or perhaps grand kids, would be there to help me when I am old and dying. Ken's son has not spoken to him in years, so for whatever reason that is it means that the help is not coming from him.
Anyway, I was happy to pick up Ken's Glock 22 (yes, another one) and am trying to sell the old 30-30 Winchester for him. He's a good guy who is a real pain in the ass to deal with at times; being stubborn is a trait not well-suited to one who is incapable.
Monday, January 9, 2012
I wake up most days thinking about how someday I’ll die. Is this normal? I don’t feel a sense of fear, per se, but rather a sense of motivation to “make it count”. The next thought is whether this is what everyone thinks of or if it is a phase for me. It hasn’t always been this way though. I guess it is good in a way so I get to choose what is important to me now, and what can wait.
Meh. There have been lots of days I was shocked to have lived through and yet here in my safest place in my life thus far, it sneaks back in. Odd really. I have an awesome life though, so I lump this in with “First World Problems”
Sunday, January 8, 2012
Thursday, January 5, 2012
Working on your car can be awesome, but it can be a horrible, hellish nightmare. :)
Here is a pic. The grey is the JB Weld and the metal deal sticking upright is the methanol injection nozzle.
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Me: Yeah man, this salad is great. You take some arugula or spinach; cover it in pomegranate seeds, goat cheese, walnuts and vinaigrette dressing. So good; David’s fiancé made it for the beer tasting.
Tom: Yeah, you know those huge boxes like the ones they would deliver a washer or dryer in?
Me: Yeah.. why?
Tom: If you took one, and filled it up… I mean ALL the way up to the top with AIDS, it still wouldn’t be as gay as what you just said.
In his young years, he spent his days roaming the mountains of Southern Afghanistan looking for scraps of food with his family. As each slow step sunk slightly into the coarse sand, the effort seemed nearly fruitless at times, as it would take the better part of a day to go a short distance. Having been born a half decade before the United States ever brought war to the region, Torry learned to avoid the common pitfalls such as unexploded ordinance and landmines.
Nights in the valleys were cold and the days were hot, but he carried everything he needed to survive on his back. Following the traditions of generations of other nomads like him, he found joy in the smallest of things. Crawling on his belly over the jagged rocks to avoid being seen while looking for food, his neck, legs and arms showed scars from years of such activity. He had many siblings as well as extended family all living in the same four square miles.
They all grew up without running water, electricity or even a roof over their heads, but they were happy. One after another, his siblings left the area they grew up in, never to be heard from again. One day, Torry was out looking for his food near a ridge when he was grabbed by two large men and thrown into the covered back of a truck. It was dark and the smell of excrement stank in the noon sun. The truck rumbled along as Torry struggled to find a way out.
After what seemed like several days, he was taken from the truck and given a piece of fruit and a small amount of water. His captors had treated him rather kindly compared to some others captured in the region. He was loaded into a crate with a few others who he recognized. There they waited to meet their future. None of them knew what was to happen once the crate was opened. What had they done to deserve this? Where were they going?
Fast forward ten years: Today, Torry lives in America where he no longer has to work as hard to find his food. He lives alone, but has a large house and all the amenities. He no longer worries about stepping on a mine or unexploded rocket, but he does get lonely as there are no others like him nearby. Torry, my Afghanistan Tortoise is awesome… so he deserves a badass story. U mad?
Monday, January 2, 2012
If, as you read this post, you think "well, that could be me" then I'm sorry… It is written for one person. They know who they are… That's right. You know I'm writing about you; little lazy bitch … and YES, I am the end-all, be-all in living healthy *sips coffee*
You use complicated handshakes that nobody else understands to greet friends you've seen only days before. You mask your natural scent with what smells like a combination of lemon Pledge and Raid, which makes my sinuses close up after a few minutes. The shoes you wear trying to be cool are ridiculous and nobody thinks you are edgy or cutting-edge for doing so. Knowing about music that is "underground" doesn't make you cool, it makes you have one less thing to talk to people about (which you whine about all the time).
When you slam on my hobbies, house, job or anything else about me, it really highlights your lack of drive or sense of self worth. To me it sounds like a cry for help…. Remember my last response to your weak-shit insults about my job? As I recall, I said something like "Well yes (some of your points are valid, but dick-ish), but now I'm about to go home on my brand new motorcycle to my huge house where my kids and wife are and where we have two turbo cars in the driveway, chickens, beautiful mountain views and a I'm going to have a few drinks of scotch… (it went on for a while)". Remember how bad you felt when I just shoved your face in that proverbial pile of dog poo?
This description makes my wimpy friend Brian sound like a saint. Brian may be a wuss, but at least he's nice and mostly accurate in his insults. I love destroying people in a way that others can watch and I am still justified in doing so. Also, the smoking… lots of people smoke, but seriously, when are you going to quit smoking those stupid fucking things? Do you think anyone in the smoking area wants to hear about what an asshole your boss is or how stressed you are? I don't think you'd know a bad boss or legit stress if they were standing on your neck. Hell, I have not worked under, around or near a manager or supervisor in several years that I would make a special point to complain about. Go work for my old platoon sergeant and his 70 IQ points and then see what you think.
Maybe this post will trigger something in your mind, which will fix the above-mentioned irritants. Maybe you will just ignore it… we shall see.
Does anyone know someone who sounds like this?