I have to say, it’s weird to be home after a few months away. I told myself the last time I was here that I’d etch the sweet memory of my home between the crevices and wrinkles of my brain, so I’d never forget it. But on the day I returned I had to awkwardly ask my mother where I kept my own underwear. It’s a struggle.
Point is though, I’m back and I get to say something to all of you guys who hopefully have not forgotten me. Though I wouldn’t blame you if you did. 3 months is a long time. Enough time to forget where your underwear is and certainly enough time to forget that one dude on Deviantart, who was unimaginably charming and handsome. (hurhurhur.) But to those who happened to be wondering, I’m doing fine. In fact, I’m doing very well.
Life in the military gets familiar real quick. My daily routine is predetermined, so days are predictable, meaning they’re stress-free. I know that I will be getting up at 06:30am every morning. I know that lunch is at 12:30, dinner at 17:30, and I know when my daily 3 hours of guard duty will be scheduled a week ahead of time. In the military all of my choices have been made for me, and the only span of time when I can freely operate is from 18:00 to 20:30. Within those open 2 hours and 30 minutes, the ways in which I can spend my time are limited to the following. I can either watch TV, but oh wait, one of the senior soldiers is using it (hierarchy is a very deeply embedded concept here in the army). I could use the computer rooms but there are never any seats available. I could karaoke it up, but my vocal chords have the melodic grace of my large intestine after taco night. So all I’m really left with is counting the seconds go by, or drawing. Against all expectations, military life has actually been artistically productive. Who wudda thunk?
Though there have been some significant changes too. I’ve gone up a rank, and now have junior soldiers below me. One of them is interested in art, so I’ve taken him under my wing and we draw together. Basically, I have a drawing buddy and it’s awesome.
One of the many things that have been frustrating me about life in the outside world are the innumerable temptations. After my quiet, almost zen-like existence in uniform, the distractions of the outside world are harder to ignore, and it’s nearly impossible to be productive. Every moment I happen to be doing nothing, I am filled with an almost unbearable urge to either pick up my phone, or turn on the computer. In the military doing nothing and losing yourself in thought was the norm. Here, I am enslaved to anything shiny and distracting, and it’s fun, only for a while. To break it down better, here’s a simple comparison. Here at home, while I take a shit, I look at pictures of kittens on the internet to distract me from the odor assaulting my nostrils. In the military I put every bit of focus and energy into the act of taking a shit, and I can feel the shit pass through my system, peek out of my asshole, take a deep breath and divebomb into the toilet below it. I think there’s a useful message in there about focus and art, but you’re going to have to dig deep to find it.
How have you guys been?