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.”)
“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.
On First Meeting Michelle—Did Not Go So Well–It Got Better, But Then I Screw’d It Up. As Is My Usual Wont.
There Seems To Be A Pattern Developing Here
The Beatles Live- Michelle My Belle:
Cred for Vid Share: Maco939
It Got Better, But Then I F*#ked It Up. (As Usual) And if You are Assuming, Presuming, It Was Physical Abuse, Then You Are Deluded. And Have Not ‘Read’ Me—It Was ‘Neglect’ On My Part: Michelle Expected More From Me Than I Was Capable of Giving.
That Was It. I am An Idiot! I Threw Away The Love of A Good Woman and a Kindred Spirit. She Was My Chance to Grasp That Brass Ring! A Military Woman–Whom I Respected! A True Patriot! And A Bona-Fide Sailor! And Like A Fool, I Just Let Her Walk Away.
I Know This Photo Below Is A Brit She-Sailor,
But I Love Her Face
She Is ALMOST As Beautiful
Michelle, ma belle These are words that go together well My Michelle Michelle, ma belle Sont les mots qui vont tres bien ensemble Tres bien ensemble I love you, I love you, I love you That’s all I want to say Until I find a way I will say the only words I know that you’ll understand
This Was Yet Another Relationship That I Managed to Mangle & Fuck Up.
Let Her Slip Away
Yes! I Have Regrets!
In The Recruit Training Command at That time There Was A Volunteer Program We Could “Volunteer” For. It Was Called “Saturday Scholars” One Could Get Out of Saturday Duty if one Signed Up.
Michelle and I Signed Up.
The ‘Program’ Was to go to The Inner-City Ghettos of Chicago and Tutor Poor Black Kids. Michelle and I Were actually Very Sincere About This ‘Work’ and We Bonded Every Saturday as we rode the Bus To Chicago.
We Wanted to do Good Work–ServeThe Community–Honorably Represent Our Navy.
Which We Both Loved Equally
I loved her very much–Even More Than The Navy
We Were Cut From The Same Cloth, I Thought, but as I said,
I Eventually Managed to Fuck That Up Somehow
I am very Good In This Regard
Call me An ‘Overachiever’ If You Must
South Park: In the Ghetto:
Elvis Presley – In the Ghetto
Dateline: Late 1985
Time: 0800 hrs.
Geographical Location: Great Mistakes Naval Training Center—Just south of Chicago.
Venue: A Navy Auditorium
Suspect: One Ricky-Recruit, AKA
*Slips now into first-person narrative*
I had arrived just a little later than was prudent.
Hence, no seats in the back of the venue.
Searched about. Scanning…
Only open seats were in the front row.
I took myself up-front, found a seat next to a serious-looking blond she-sailor, decked out in freshly pressed dress blues. AJ-Squared-Away, she was.
Old Military / Sailor Saw: “Never sit up front and never volunteer for nothin.“
I had already broken the first rule. I was about to Break The Second…
I was in dungarees—not pressed. Certainly not ‘AJ-Squared away’… slightly hung-over, if I am aiming at honest narrative here.
‘Under-Dressed’ does not even come close.
I had plopped down to her starboard.
Risked a look at her.
(I had already lost myself in her eyes)
She sensed my gaze, looked me dead in my eye and said,
“What are you staring at Sailor? Hi. My name is Michelle. What’s yours?” She said as she extended her hand.
I shook her hand and was surprised to experience a very firm grip/handshake.
A Naval Officer took to the old, very old wooden podium and began his spiel, tryingto sell us on ‘Saturday Scolars.’ and drag out some volunteers.
Michelle went Eyes-Front: Intensely paying serious Military Attention.
I did not.
I kept gazing at her…
To the point of being too obvious.
Oh! And BTW, it did not escape me that she was a 3rd Class Petty Officer.
And an ‘ET–Electronics Techincian’
She seriously ‘out-ranked’ me–in Brains and Beauty
And, obvious to me:
In the Nav, we called them ‘IPO’s
“Instant Petty Officer”
If you Graduate from the ‘Right Navy School,’ you are auto-magically promoted.
I was, my own self, enrolled in such a school, but the successful end game—of MY Graduation—was tenuous at best.
Not my intent to bash Y’all over the head with a not-so-subtle…