Another year older. 24. It kind of scares me to think I'm almost half way through my 20's and I really have nothing to show for it. Most of Americans have gone to college or at least started it by this point. Some are well off, most are not. BUt in my case, I've got almost 20 moths in a combat zone, 13 months in an ER, and a load of memories I DON'T WANT!!!
Dad had come out to be with me. we decided, after a while, and a lot of indescision on my part, to go to Colorado if nothing more than to see the moutains. We drove most fo friday night, and stopped at a hotel on the 3rd. My birthday. If I'd been in Baghdad, I'd have gotten a pink belly and maybe a few calls to family, but it'd have been just another day. This birthday followed without a doubt the WORST month of my life.
On the way to USAFA (the Air Force Academy for you unmilitary folk) Lisa calls and asks for help. She got a No Pay Due, and was without money when she was getting groceries. She said that she knew it was kind of messed up because she'd been a "bitch" to me (her words not mine) I Told her I'd see what i could do. Now at this point a whole can of worms spilt out. For some strange reason I was filled with a sense of urgency, but I also started really having floashbacks.
Enter one Colorado State trooper. Apparently I'd been going 92 in a 75 MPH zone. I don't know how fast I was going really, but I do know that there are some things that happen when your focus is elsewhere like combat, and this wasn't the first time I've gotten a ticket, because my mind was "over there". My dad was furrious at the trooper. I personally think he went a bit far questioning his patriotism, and he was to the point of tears, trying to sway this trooper. Of course that made the guy act even more like a hard ass.
After that we (finally) got to the USAFA stadium. Well it was near half time and it was sold out. I wasn't in the mood for this so i kindo of paced while my dad tried asking everyone under the sun for tickets. While doing this i Happened to glance sidelong at some AF cheeerleaders. What a terrible thought that I might actually take orders from them. After much haggling we got in, and after much waiting Helen (my God father's second daughter) showed up. It was strange seeing her again, all grown up and (somewhat) mature. It reminded me of some of the things she had done in childhood, and I knew she'd grow into the person she is eventually. It was good to see I can still be right about SOME things.
After the game, well, I went to the local BX. After some trouble with the Western Union I spent $265 to send $200 to Lisa. The second time I've helped her out this way. Strangly doing something good (helping her) made me feel WORSE not better. I won't say what was said between us after I sent this, it was obvious that she was thankful but i have a feeling that it's back to "giving her time". I want to believe she didn't use me, but the more i try to defend her, the more feble my arguments become. There is a terrible truth I do not want to face, that despite the goodness I've seen in her, she's givin in to a side of her that. . . well a side that will lead her to much grief.
It's strange. There is a numb feeling in my heart. Like I've just been drifting. I can't tell you what I'm going to do. I'm not going to do "something stupid" but by the same token, I'm far from "ok". If there were one year I wish I could "do over" it'd be this one. On my last birthday in a drunken depression Lisa, trying to cheer me up sent me a pin up pose picture. It was funny to wake up to it. A month from now. . . would have been a first "aniversery" People keep telling me I'm better off without her, but memories of her keep surfacing, much the same as my nightmares don't go away. Dammit all.
One final thing. If not for my friends, I honestly don't know how I'd keep from sinking into a catatonic state. All the issues I didn't have time to deal with durring my deployment, have come crashing back, far worse this time than last. If it weren't for Katie, and Anja, and a few other notable mentions, I'd be toast right about now. I'm another year older, and yet at times, i feel like I'm 44 not 24.