Saturday, December 23, 2006

The Man In Between

I haven't written in a little while, and I apologize for that. I have been in something of a creative rut. I am also fairly limited for the moment, in terms of what I can afford to write about, but hopefully this condition will resolve itself within the next month or so. More will follow.

Oz is leaving. He's on R&R for the moment; after which he'll be reassigned to another platoon. This saddens me--Oz is one of the only real friends I have. Relations with my fellow soldiers have been strained lately; I increasingly find that I have little in common with most of my peers. Too often, I'm left feeling like "the smartest guy in the room." It may be true to a certain extent, but such knowledge only serves to foster in me a sense of intense alienation.

I just finished reading an article about a young female soldier's Bronze Star, and found that I could barely stomach it. Make no mistake--the article itself is very nice. However, I find that, as the months stretch on, I have less desire to see, read, or hear anything else regarding this war. My identity is overshadowed constantly by this uniform, these combat boots. To my superiors I'm a pawn; to my fellow Americans a god unwarranted. I am alternately least and greatest within our societal framework, and I find that such dichotomy leaves little room for the man in between. I am growing tired of the role I play.

A rare positive note: As of next week, I've been selected by my battalion to undergo language training in Arabic. I'm the only soldier from my unit to be receiving the training, and it's a six-week course, so needless to say I am pleased to have been chosen for the slot. Perhaps this will entail for me a slightly different role within the unit. Time will tell.

Yesterday marked the passage of the winter solstice. The days have been cold, and shrouded in dense fog. The holidays are upon us, and the year is drawing to a close. This Sunday, I will make tea and smoke a pipe. I plan to catch up on my reading; perhaps take an opportunity to spend some rare time alone. My line of work doesn't allow for much reflection, so I am inclined to seize upon such chances as they come.

Three months down. Only nine more to go.

8 Comments:

Blogger cinnabari said...

Hey, that's awesome about the language training.

I am alternately least and greatest within our societal framework

That's a weird phenomenon, and one I've noticed stateside, too. This veneration of the soldier simply because s/he is a soldier. And I think...I grew up around military, on the bases. And 18 year old with an M16 is still 18, you know? Just as much potential to be a git as a good guy. I can't stand the romanticizing.

You. Stay safe. I wish for you peace, on all fronts.

5:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have emailed you and yours Season's Greetings and I hope it reaches you. Take care, and try to maintain your individuality, it's a rare quality these days, particularly for someone in your situation.

Peace be with you,
Fiona

6:47 PM  
Blogger soul pumpkin said...

...and let me add peaceful wishes to you and yours...may the next nine months pass quickly...safe home, bro...

7:04 PM  
Blogger The Hackademician said...

Too often, I'm left feeling like "the smartest guy in the room." It may be true to a certain extent, but such knowledge only serves to foster in me a sense of intense alienation.

::nods::

Not an easy place to be. I felt like this a lot when I was in rural Wisconsin. It's like spiritual claustrophobia -- the feeling that you are constricted on all sides by the lack of curiosity.

Don't let it get you down, man. You are not the freak.

-nous

9:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, Happy Boxing Day (CA)! Be safe, take care, all that good stuff and enjoy Kwanzaa.

The TB

1:11 AM  
Blogger MichaelBains said...

I wish we were sitting around somewhere talking and shootin' nothin' more than the shit. There's so much I'd love to say and hear from someone in your position.

Hell, in any position. Just so long as I didn't have to "dummy down" nearly every freakin' conversation I have with nearly everyone in my life.

I know I'm not the smartest person I know but, though I often give myself too little credit for the brains I do have, I thoroughly enjoy using my brain to understand how a people so wonderful, so talented, so creative and insightful (when we want to be) can allow and even provoke such insanity as occurs on a daily basis in our world. It seems to me that the smarter-than-me folks use that capacity to "circle the wagons" around their emotional beliefs about their own mean prosperity, refusing to acknowledge where their rights either overlap or downright inundate and wash away those of others.

Sorry. I keep trying to keep this short, but "Thank you for your service and your post" and "Happy Holidays" doesn't seem to cover all which both your (much appreciated) comment on my site* and this post here have percolated in my oh so human noggin'.

Good Health and Love and - yeah, sure - Good Luck in your assignments, Spc. Freeman. May the New Year be a good year for you and your family. Maybe there'll even be a little peace for you in there somewhere. I sincerely do hope it's so, and of a welcome and beneficial kind.

* Michael Bains

The New Blogger/Old Blogger makes logging in to comment a pain in the butt since I started a "test blog" on Beta Blogger and now can't merge my accounts. Live and learn, eh. L8!

12:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Arabic, really? interesting, and congratulations! maybe you can teach me?
be careful in your work. x i wouldnt want to have to come kick your ass.


trish

4:33 PM  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

Enjoy your tea, your pipe and time for reflection.

I hope your new year is filled with peace!

6:38 PM  

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