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take 3, action

I am discumbobulated. I am Jack’s emotionally torn cerebellum (Fight Club reference). I just feel lost in the sauce I guess.

This is the third start to a blog tonight. The others werent flowing. I feel like this one is about letting off steam, venting to a computer screen. This is just a free association of the thoughts that race through my mind as I lay in bed and wait for medicated sleep to whisk me away. (its prescription)

Dont worry for me, please don’t be alarmed. This is simply the act of putting bottled up emotion to keyboard bc my pen would run out of ink. Dont read this.

It’s been one of those truly draining days that comes along once in a while and snatches the life out of you. I woke up this morning in a haze after tossing and turning for an infinite amount of consecutive nights. I don’t have anything to attribute the constant waking to because when I wake up most times, I don’t remember my dreams. I used to have such vivid dreams that were filled with everything a person could never imagine. Colors that had yet to be seen, things that could never be conceived. Just a mashup of all the incredible “its” that I could never put into already created words and that the world will never know. I used to write down my dreams and laugh at how absurd they were. I literally had a journal by my bed for several years just for those times I woke up and needed to pen my oddities. Back in Technical School I used to dream in SPANISH!??! Can you believe that? But all this was some years ago.

Now many nights just seem black. Not even black, more like nothing. Like in the Never Ending Story, that kind of nothing. After watching that recently, I tried to imagine “nothing.” The absence of color is black, but black is something so how could one ever truly ponder “nothing?” It’s simply not possible. Maybe Steven Hawking is capable of it with a mind like his, but for every other person on this planet it is utterly inconceivable. Yet even with all this rationale, I feel like when I do actually sleep, there is nothing. I have never expected to remember every night’s sleep, but to go months without a dream of any significance honestly troubles me throughout my day at times. What happened to those colors unseen?

I fear that I may never have access to these types of dreams again and that terrifies me. To think that at night alone in my bed is only “nothing” or worse keeps me up at night. Its 0146 right now and I have already taken my newly prescribed med for sleep more than an hour and a half ago. Doc said it should take no longer than 30, but here I lay typing away some drivel into this blog that I oft wonder why I write.

I sometimes try to visualize what an acid trip would feel like from hearing all these stories and I can only think that a trip must be the awake conceptualization of a dream. I’m not saying I want to try to trip balls, but in my pursuit to experience everything once, am I missing out? I know this thought only stems from me dreaming of dreaming. How sad is that statement though, really? The fact that I daydream about having a real dream. Ha, I have to laugh at myself. I must seem utterly out of touch with reality.

I hate to sleep now bc I know I’m not going to get what I need out of it, yet most days I am so exhausted that sleeping consumes my thoughts when I am not engaged. I think this is one of the reasons I have become a “yes” man over the last couple years. Its been pointed out to me that I don’t say NO enough. Friends, family, and recent relationships have all pointed out that they would rather me say NO on many occasions. I thought it was good to go with the flow, but don’t mistake me for a sheep. I am no door mat. I guess it is this way for the simple fact that time is on my side finally and I am alloted time to work around others. I don’t like to say NO bc I feel like I might miss out on something. I will forever be that kid that looks through his fingers at a scary movie bc even though he know its ok to shut his eyes, he still needs to see what’s going to happen next. I need to see what I would be missing if I had closed it all off. I can’t just close my eyes, I have a hard time saying no.

Today I went to the VA for the second time and it made me realize why there was such a gap in my attendance there. I hate going to the Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center. Its been years since I stepped foot through those doors. Its filled with veterans from wars that mattered (I appreciate every one of those people) whereas “our” wars go by without society skipping a beat. Vietnam, WWI, WWII, the country shifted its focus here in America to fuel the war effort and entire generations were forged through this melding of culture and war. Today, did you think about the fact that America is now engaged in the single longest conflict of our nation’s history? Did that cross your mind? I don’t expect you to and I would never persecute for not thinking this way, that’s just how it is. I just happen to think about it quite a lot, a little too much maybe. But it does bother me that 12,500 miles away on the other side of the world that some of our country’s finest will not be coming home to stand on US soil again, but are instead will be returned to it. And only his or her family and friends will ever know the sacrifice made.

I know a lot of this is weighing on me now as Veteran’s Day, November 11th, is drawing near. I know that’s where much of this confusing ramble I write derives from, but it’s also something that has bothered me for years. The fact that I had to read an article in Vanity Fair titled “America’s Forgotten War” while I was sitting on a fucking step inside that “forgotten” country makes me clinch my fists still today. Maybe I’m overly proud, maybe Im overly sensitive, maybe I bottle up too much inside. Maybe I should say NO more often, maybe think a little less about the other side of the world, maybe let a little more slide. Maybe I continue to go to the VA, maybe I dream unseen colors tonight. We will see how the former turn out, but right now I only pray for the latter.

Categories: My Everyday Life
  1. November 5, 2010 at 09:29

    I think you have the benefit of hindsight and history, with regards to our previous wars, and WWI and WWII were two very different wars. Do not forget that the US never wanted to enter WWI until: 1) Germany sank a passenger ship with US nationals aboard and 2) the US discovered a German message sent to Mexico, asking them to ally and declare war on the US, in addition to two seperate sabotages to US munition depots in NY and NJ. Likewise, the US did not enter WWII until “…a date which will live in infamy.” Although American people did not want to go to war, our country was forced to after deliberate attacks on US soil, and in the case of WWII, after significant loss of life, drumming up significant support at home.

    Vietnam was a completely different story, coinciding with an already difficult time at home and, I would venture, not unlike what we’re going through now. The US entered on the grounds of preventing the takeover of communism, not because we were outright attacked, and given the circumstances at home were lacking support (including many anti-war protests, even some where people were accidently shot). There were no parades for these men returning from War. All of this, in combination with over 50,000 US KIA’s.

    Looking back on it now, it is easier for us to honor them as heroes, probably because it’s what we studied as children in school, but during the time, this was a complicated war with mixed support at home.

    Iraq and Afghanistan are largely similar. Yes, the US was deliberately attacked, but it was by a faceless enemy, not a “country.” We went to war, but were led by a leader which many Americans did not respect or support, fighting in countries nobody had heard of, chasing an enemy nobody could identify for reasons many did not understand (IE – WMD’s versus Al Qaeda). They are comlicated wars with poor “marketing” from our leaders, but up to the second media coverage thanks to the web.

    But, most importantly, do not think your wars have been going by. You are facing similar consequences of many of our fathers coming home from Vietnam. Make no mistake that, whether they say it or not, there are many of your friends, family and neighbors which thank you and every one of our service members every day for being able to breathe free air. You’re fighting a terrible war, doing jobs that few could ever handle or dream of. These wars certainly “matter” and will be studied throughout history. There have been many “forgotten” conflicts over the years (how many from our generation knew about Somalia before “Black Hawk Down?”), but every one matters.

  2. November 5, 2010 at 14:56

    Disclaimer: For anyone else that reads this post, please do not think that I am looking for praise on the subject of my war experience or that I would ever diminish the sacrifices made by those that came before me or those that stood beside me. War is a difficult topic for most Americans to wrap their heads around and I am still adjusting to the sometimes perceived “absence” of sympathy to the warfighter. Notice I did not say to the “cause” I specifically mean our troops.

    Nick you are right in every aspect here and thanks for engaging. I always value your opinions and insight in any subject matter. Vietnam has so much in common with the wars we have waged over the past decade that it makes me thankful we have lost so few in comparison with that awful conflict. These are uncertain times, facing unseen foes, in obscure lands on the other side of the world. A hard concept for anyone to grasp, let alone a civilian with no military ties. I wrote as a free association of the emotional drain of my day and the thoughts that played about in my head. Its filled with anger for the things I have to deal with daily and the things I have to see/think about when I go back to the VA. Those poor men and women who are merely shells of their former selves, still trying to deal with their demons so many, many years later.

    Its mainly the fear in me that I could end up like this as I grow older, that this will be my friends in the future. Its like staring into a mirror sometimes and to hear them telling the same stories they have told all their adult lives kills me. The stories of the things they saw in war is just heartbreaking to me because it shows they will be haunted until the day of their passing. My written word was simply the outpouring of the emotions of a long day, one that I had been dreading for nearly 4 years.

    You’re always on point with your commenting and add so much to my ramblings. Thanks for engaging…and for clearing the air with your spot on observations.

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