He Drinks Now Most Nights With the TV On

And all the house lights left up bright.

Happy  New Year.

“I’m gonna blow this damn candle out.”

“Holidays are hard on some guys.”

(I stole that line from a favorite movie of mine, loosely based on a wonderful play by some guy: “Sexual Perversity in Chicago” which I first saw in the Sinai, and then saw it… wait for it… in Chicago.

When I saw the movie in Shy – Town, It had been bastardized into… “About Last Night.”

“Travesty” as a word…

“Cynical and drunk?”

“May-hap: C’est moi?”

“Huh?”

“What did he say?”

*******

Honestly, when it comes down to it, we all die alone… boring someone in some dark café.

“Jesus Christ! Lance! Some happy thoughts for the New Year?”

“Naw, been there…”

“You’re either too stupid to die, or too stupid to live.”

“Yes. Both.”

I like to think that I only write for me.

That is some vain fantasy. Or just a pleasant fiction.

I write to get bed, er… read.

I do.

I really do.

I am a “writer”

Or, at least, I think of me in that way.

And I love commas.

And I edit as I go.

Someone once said of “Lord Ernest” (Hemingway),

Someone said he said, “Write Drunk. Edit Sober.”

Now, personally, I think that apocryphal, but what do I know?

Yet, I am going with it.

(at least the write drunk part)

Now, back to Joni:

“Love can be so sweet.”

“Go look at your eyes.”

“Drink up now. It’s gettin’ on time to close.”

Some footnote:

Oh, and by the way, The Last time I saw Richard was Great Lakes, Recruit Training Command, ’86,  and he told me… something about staying alive while with the Navy SEALs in SO CAL, just before he went to Florida and committed suicide,  because He could not handle the Pressure that was (then) the U.S. Navy Nuclear Submarine Program. Thank God I was in Coronado with the SEALs.

And So Safe

So safe.

I miss Richard.

He was braver than me.

And nobody ever committed suicide while at BUD/s (Navy SEAL) training: we were just all too busy, you see, just ‘busily’ trying to stay the fuck alive.

“Richard got married to a figure-skater–post-humorlessly.”

Somehow, I live.

His name was “Richard” and he was a real person.

Yeah, I left  out the tag line (on purpose):

“when you gonna get back on your feet?”

 

 

**********

 

 

If you happenstance to swerve into this blog, and catch yourself saying,

“Gee! This guy is cool.”

Don’t.

(Just don’t.)

But if’n you do, Do not then… follow the comments.

Just don’t fuckin’ do it. 

Save some:  them, them the good memories.

And walk on by.

(You just knew I had to.)

 

Since I ‘Missed’ TBT this past week…

I simply MUST catch up. Below please find one of MY Personal Favorites:

“SEAL Training: Psych Evaluation”

***

While stationed at Great Mistakes (Errrr…Great Lakes) Naval Training Command, I did my due diligence and qualified for BUD/s (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training in Coronado, California)

After passing the physical physical and clearing all the other stuff (mostly based upon my ASVAB scores and my ability to swim like a dolphin), A Final Task faced me: I had to pass unblemished through an interview with a psychiatrist. Just a formality, right? (Last hurdle: “Lance, do NOT fuck this up.”)

Sailor

Sailor Lance

This should be fun,” I recall thinking as I waited for my interview.

I was eventually summoned and sat my ass down in front of a geeky, mouse-eyed shrink. He obviously had ‘issues’ of his own. This I could discern straight-away from his limp-wristed demeanor. And obviously the only SEAL he had ever met was in some vain dream fantasy.

No matter. I was there just to get my ticket punched.

After a dozen or so stupid questions about such things as how did I feel about my mother, have I ever killed anything (Uh, do frogs count?), the price of tea in China, ad nauseam, he came to his pièce de résistance:

“Seaman Marcom,” he broached, “If you were ordered by your SEAL Team Leader to go in and clear a room whilst on a mission, and you burst into this room only to discover an elderly lady in a rocking chair reading a bible, what would you do?”

I waited for my dramatic pause, then said,

“Sir, I would shoot the bible.”*

Smiling, I observed him take his rubber stamp out and stamp “Approved” on my papers.

“California Here I Come”

Right Back Where I Started From

Video Credit: L. Heitmann via YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/user/IrRrIS1l3nt

*Footnote:

In the Nav, we have bombastic bullshit ‘tellings’, euphemistically known as ‘Sea Stories’. These are always introduced with the mandatory preamble:

“Now, this is a no-shitter…”

The above telling (though completely factual) is a wonderful example of same.

It’s Memorial Day Weekend: Go find yourself a Sailor and say, “Hey Sailor, New in Town?” Then hug him/her.

 

SEAL Training: Psych Eval

While stationed at Great Mistakes (Errrr…Great Lakes) Naval Training Command, I did my due diligence and qualified for BUD/s (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training in Coronado, California)

After passing the physical physical and clearing all the other stuff (mostly based upon my ASVAB scores and my ability to swim like a dolphin), A Final Task faced me: I had to pass unblemished through an interview with a psychiatrist. Just a formality, right? (Last hurdle: “Lance, do NOT fuck this up.”)

Sailor

Sailor Lance

This should be fun,” I recall thinking as I waited for my interview.

I was eventually summoned and sat my ass down in front of a geeky, mouse-eyed shrink. He obviously had ‘issues’ of his own. This I could discern straight-away from his limp-wristed demeanor. And obviously the only SEAL he had ever met was in some vain dream fantasy.

No matter. I was there just to get my ticket punched.

After a dozen or so stupid questions about such things as how did I feel about my mother, have I ever killed anything (Uh, do frogs count?), the price of tea in China, ad nauseam, he came to his pièce de résistance:

“Seaman Marcom,” he broached, “If you were ordered by your SEAL Team Leader to go in and clear a room whilst on a mission, and you burst into this room only to discover an elderly lady in a rocking chair reading a bible, what would you do?”

I waited for my dramatic pause, then said,

“Sir, I would shoot the bible.”*

Smiling, I observed him take his rubber stamp out and stamp “Approved” on my papers.

“California Here I Come”

Right Back Where I Started From

Video Credit: L. Heitmann via YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/user/IrRrIS1l3nt

*Footnote:

In the Nav, we have bombastic bullshit ‘tellings’, euphemistically known as ‘Sea Stories’. These are always introduced with the mandatory preamble:

“Now, this is a no-shitter…”

The above telling (though completely factual) is a wonderful example of same.

It’s Memorial Day Weekend: Go find yourself a Sailor and say, “Hey Sailor, New in Town?” Then hug him/her.

 

Throw-Back: She’s Not Here

NAVY CLUB of the United State of America MILITARY EXCELLENCE Award

“Presented to the graduating recruit who best exemplifies the qualities of enthusiasm, devotion to duty, military appearance and behavior, self-discipline and teamwork.”

This was the highest honor any recruit could be awarded.

I won that sucker in ‘85.

Before I went to Boot Camp, aka in Naval Parlance, “Recruit Training” my recruiter told my wife:

Great mistakes

“Hey, If Lance wins this award, The Navy will pay for your plane ticket and lodging at Great Lakes Naval Recruit Center so you may see Lance graduate. But of course, it is very unlikely he will win. I mean the odds are against it, but who knows? Lance has scored the best on his ASVAB and he looks to be squared-away.” Blah Blah Blah.

My wife was an Army Reserve Vet, a Non-Com in the U.S. Army Reserve, and for her day job, a probation officer. She should have smelled bullshit. So should I. But neither one of us did. We were poor. I promised her before I left for Boot Camp:

“Janet, I am gonna win that award and you are gonna be so proud of me. The Navy will fly you to Chicago and we will be together before I ship out to SEAL training. Don’t worry: the Navy is an honorable service. They cannot make these claims if they are not true.”

She put me on the plane and I headed off to Great Lakes RTC (Recruit Training Center). I arrived at 0400hrs and somewhat scared shitless, even though I was twenty-seven and a veteran of one war zone already (see SFM). But I had seen too many movies and I knew my next nine weeks would ‘test’ me.

Continue reading

She’s Not Here

NAVY CLUB of the United State of America MILITARY EXCELLENCE Award

“Presented to the graduating recruit who best exemplifies the qualities of enthusiasm, devotion to duty, military appearance and behavior, self-discipline and teamwork.”

This was the highest honor any recruit could be awarded.

I won that sucker in ‘85.

Before I went to Boot Camp, aka in Naval Parlance, “Recruit Training” my recruiter told my wife:

Great mistakes

“Hey, If Lance wins this award, The Navy will pay for your plane ticket and lodging at Great Lakes Naval Recruit Center so you may see Lance graduate. But of course, it is very unlikely he will win. I mean the odds are against it, but who knows? Lance has scored the best on his ASVAB and he looks to be squared-away.” Blah Blah Blah.

My wife was an Army Reserve Vet, a Non-Com in the U.S. Army Reserve, and for her day job, a probation officer. She should have smelled bullshit. So should I. But neither one of us did. We were poor. I promised her before I left for Boot Camp:

“Janet, I am gonna win that award and you are gonna be so proud of me. The Navy will fly you to Chicago and we will be together before I ship out to SEAL training. Don’t worry: the Navy is an honorable service. They cannot make these claims if they are not true.”

She put me on the plane and I headed off to Great Lakes RTC (Recruit Training Center). I arrived at 0400hrs and somewhat scared shitless, even though I was twenty-seven and a veteran of one war zone already (see SFM). But I had seen too many movies and I knew my next nine weeks would ‘test’ me.

Continue reading