but at least it's got a hell of a sense of humor...one of my favorite quotes from SATC.
It's no secret that I've been [creating for myself or simply] dueling an antagonist. The army is at times, an all-too-present obstacle with which I try to reckon. I want to become adjusted. I want to shrug my shoulders when minor details are suddenly altered. I want to be as strong as steel. When I'm not, when I do in fact prefer the idea of throwing myself in the floor to kick and scream in a rendition of some shakedown circa 1986, when I am tempted to stop trying, that's when I feel Shame ooze in around me, dense and foul. His accomplice, the voice of Failure, is the neighbor's yippy dog that I'd really like to poison for the mere sake of serenity. This garrulous duet has made a maddening noise in my thoughts, and so to you and my Staff Sergeant, I apologize for the gloomy tone.
Last night, my inner toddler could no longer be pacified. Our weekend was otherwise picture perfect, and then something triggered by something else unrelated, released the tantrum thrower's energy. There was thankfully a lack of flailing limbs and beastly cries, but in their place stood the silent letting of tears and his total confusion as to their origin. I tried to talk but feeling defeated and confused myself, I instead slipped into the shower to rinse away my inner turmoil.
The longer I lathered, the more flustered I became - I can't do this. I can't do this. I don't have what it takes. I turned off the water with a fluid rotation and pushed back the vinyl curtain. I reached for my towel and entered his room, now darker with unadjusted eyes. Blindly I felt for his chest of drawers and once my searching hands had found it, counted descending handles. Drawing open number three and groping the folded cotton t-shirts, I unearthed one softer than the others. I dragged it from beneath the stack, pulled it over my head and quietly padded back to the bathroom to finish undoing myself. Upon closing the door and flipping on the light, I turned to face my reflection in the foggy mirror. There across my chest was unquestionable clarity. In strong, black letters, "ARMY" clung to the worn gray threads.
Some true thing led me this far into his life, into his bathroom, in between the fabric of an old PT uniform. I could hear the echo of my Mother's voice bounce between the tiles, her warning of life's disregard for fairness, the status quo. And as though scripted by a rambling plot's need for irony, I realized that it wasn't a matter of can or cannot but rather that I am navigating this trying road. If learning something complex were easy, we'd surely all be doing the impossible.
Before closing my eyes he managed a smile out of me, then whispered words so modest that I should have already been privy to their brilliance.
You are not the first to be frustrated and I don't want you to change.