On my Own

The human tendency to ruminate on the past without consideration for the future. A bad joke played on us because all we have in the end is the now. The past doesn’t define you and at times it feels like you’re a prisoner to it, but it’s gone never to return.

When I got to Fort Knox, KY in the winter of ’88 I was full of wonder and excited for my future. I had enlisted in the United States Army.  I was 18 years old and had joined the Army on a whim. You know those advertisements that the Army would send in the mail? The ones saying “We do more before 5am, than most people do all day”? yeah, that’s the one. Don’t ask me what I thought was so appealing about being up at 5am. I guess I wanted to belong to something & maybe learn some sort of skill on the way.  I didn’t score very high on the Army aptitude test. There was no one to tell me that I should study. I just went in and took it.

When I got to Fort Knox it was late at night and it was cold and windy. I had a thin wind breaker on and I was cold as shit. What was I thinking coming from Los Angeles on a Greyhound bus across the country and didn’t even have a proper jacket. This would be the first lesson of many. Always be prepared and have with you what you will need. We didn’t sleep that night as they prodded us into WWII barracks, I was scared. I knew no one there, but I knew that I would be ok. I was waiting for the fun to start.

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