As you may or may not be aware, I was ushered in this general direction at the behest of Mama Fisi. I'm sure you know that she's not one to give orders, but she's also not someone whose suggestions are easily refused. As to why I'm here, I'm as bewildered as you. I love to talk, but given an open-ended chance such as this I find myself with little to say. I've found an ear or two online for my own... diverse opinions and complaints. Apparently some of them were entertaining enough that I found requests for more cropping up before long. A rare chance then, as people who want to listen to me complain in person are quite few and far between.
I've written a number of times in the past about my experiences in the Navy; all of it true, all of it unvarnished, and very little of it positive. In fact I'm most passionate and creative when I write about the nagging complaints and injustices that make me want to violently shake some people by their ankles until all the stupid falls out.
I've been asked why exactly it is that I want to so carefully catalogue and describe things that I find to be so unpleasant. The usual reasons, it's cathartic for one, helps me get my thoughts in order and such, but there's more to it than that. I write these things because I'm a big fan of the truth.
I was asked about my future plans once by a career veteran at the American Legion back home. He was among very few people to hear the objective, profanity-free version of my reasons for leaving the service at the end of this tour. He told me that I would come to regret leaving, that I would one day look back on these days as the best ones of my life. I had far too much respect for him to tell him what a load of crap I thought that was, but those words have stuck with me.
As much of a muckraker as I am about my present circumstances, I could certainly see myself looking back on these days without the jade colored glasses that I wear at present. That's why I felt the need to record the relevant facts in black and white; in an indelible format subject to neither senility nor nostalgia. That way if my future self starts waxing poetic about the good old days I can throat-punch him back to reality with the story of how those days really happened, how the West was really lost. If I'm going to relive my glory days, I would much prefer them to be real days that actually happened, rather than constructs of a capricious mind.
I foresee a day when I have regrets about my past, in fact I hope for it. If I've never done anything worth regretting, there's a fair chance I've also never done anything worth doing either. But this time I think my reminder will be positive. Wherever I am and however I got there in the future, I'll be able to remember that at one point I was dissatisfied with my lot in the world. I knew that there was a better life out there, and rather than take the safe route staying where I was, I threw caution to the wind and pursued that life, never knowing if I would succeed. I would very much value the chance to always remember the way I got to where I am, and so that is what finds its way to the internet these days. I had never meant to entertain or educate, to sway opinion or to pontificate, just to record. And so witness here these... my letters to my future.
Here's hoping I've still got all my hair.
Oh dear, I did mean to introduce myself, but it seems I got caught up in all that foolish sentiment above. Curiosity put me here, and with luck it can make me stay. I'd put this off a number of times for a day when I had more spare time. At this rate it feels like that day may never arrive, but I figure I'd throw a few minutes at it here and there and see what sticks. Kudos to you if you can visualize thrown minutes sticking to things. I never was a terribly visual writer. Anyways, I hope to see more of this place, and if I do it right you'll soon hope to see more of me. Or not, I tend to be rather divisive like that.
"If it's worth doing, it's worth doing ON FIRE."