It's been eight months and if not every single day, at least once a week I get a new flavor of the mil-life. A preview of what is to come, if you will*. I never catch up, mostly I am left scrambling behind the group, awkwardly towing all of the information and the cultural norms it seems I should have been issued at birth. It is often that I wish he had broken the actually-I'm-in-the-army news with a sweet little how-to handbook for unknowing girlfriends-to-be. As it would seem, Life has a darker than that sense of humor and has probably not stopped laughing yet as I fumble my way through the steps.
Keeping in tune with the past, this time apart is unlike the others. He's busier than usual, the circumstances are different, there is possibly more demand. He seems further away and somehow...vacant. Today it occurred to me that this communication tempo is most probably foreshadowing of the future. There aren't foretold days of silence, rather windows of time that open and close either with or without his voice. And when we do talk, the colorful hues are missing. The timer on my cell phone rolls through the sepia-toned seconds, logging the lengths of flatness. Of course, the mere echo of his voice across the expanse curls my lips into a smile. It's just that I miss...him.
I send unnecessary volumes of text messages to his phone, on some level thinking that the mechanical buzz will shake him loose from the grip of the guns and The Army just long enough to remind him of the soft and fragile girl at home. Then I watch my tiny screen for reciprocation, willing his number to dance across in blue light [mostly in vain]. I wish and wish and wish for that connection and upon defeat, I drag my feet to bed to dream of more luscious bursts of life we've shared. This is what I've chosen to walk next to, hand in hand with the shadows of togetherness...
I would never call myself "strong" although my bests assure that I have it in me. This may be the most trying endeavor I've ever taken on, yet even when it's hard I love him. My mind is saturated in war from every channel, even my periphery has begun instinctively clothing the public in digital camo. The reminder of The Beast is everywhere beyond and within my slight frame, and the ease of giving up is the devil's temptation. Tonight, though I'd cry myself to sleep if sleep were upon me, I choose to stick it out. Princess, put on your big-girl panties, my mother would chide. And in the late hours of darkness I'd slink them on, burn the white flag of surrender, and stare down the devil's offer.
*referencing the even more unfathomable idea of the longterm [not "loose lips"]