When you let them open up your head and feel around inside, the consequences are your own, fucking fault, you dig?
Like the time I was in the Army at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina. I was a Conscientious Objector (CO), so for me that meant I was at war with the whole damn system and anyone who got in my way would at least be dumbed down even more than he or she was already in the state of dumbness.
One day I saw one of my Drill Instructors (DIs) who knew my stuff and that I was a CO; he had ‘short man’s syndrome,’ cocky as a drug dealer walking out of jail after only one night, into the light of day in the city; this DI was always in my face with his beet-red melon, trying to goad me into fighting or breaking the rules in some way. When we went into the field for training, he always had his intimidator with him—it’s called a Louisville Slugger baseball bat, the deacon of swat did a bad (I mean bad here means good) job of being the enforcer I have to admit.
Today, he walked past me on the sidewalk, then about five seconds later, I hear, “Pvt. Beam, you better get your left back button buttoned—if you don’t, I’m going to have a little party for you—I guarantee it won’t be pleasurable!”
I did an about face; his eyes reminded me of a rat’s eyes, I kept staring at him as my racing thoughts got on display in the paddock. So I said in my most self-righteous tone I could muster, let’s say I was an especially mean Pharisee, “If you tell me to do something against God’s will I will refuse the order! Both God & Allah tell you that!”
We stood there like two cows in a field, each one staring at the other, slowly, slicing & dicing the metaphorical food in their mouths. After several minutes, this got to be boring, and even though I was trying to give all of this some meaning, I never got why two cows chewing their cud should have any significance to me in my situation. In so many ways, there plainly aren’t any answers, so I had to live with that.
After a few minutes we both went back to our individual barracks where we were stationed. There was no talk. I had no use for anyone with any form of fundamentalist patriotism. There was no coming to an understanding; no friends, but definitely some enemies.
©Christopher Bear-Beam June 30, 2014