by OPOVV, ©2019

(Sep. 7, 2019) — “Mind turning the music down?”

It’s My Life” (3:26)

“Yeah, I do mind.”

Music ends.

“You got some attitude; anyone ever tell you that?”

“Nope; you’re the first.”

“You’re a real work of art.”

“You know how it happened? I’ll tell you: it was my stint in the Navy. I was introduced to the ‘Philosophy of the Downtrodden’ within the first week; by the end of the first month I had my Associate Degree; and at the end of the year I had my Doctor’s of Philosophy (PhD) and was ensconced securely at the bottom of the totem pole.”

“You seem to have an attitude about it.”

“Not at all, and that’s the beauty of it: knowing that the chance of any given situation getting worse is directly proportional to any hope of its ever getting any better.”

“So the Navy has a lot of people like you?”

“Anyone who was ever a Marine PFC; did KP (Kitchen Patrol) while in the Army; was a Navy Snipe or a Boatswain’s Mate Apprentice has the degree. It’s a common connection to those living and those who are truly expendable.”

“Well, you could say nobody ever knows when their last moments will be.”

“Sorry, I can’t explain the unexplainable, but I’ll try. When I got back into The World*, it took me a couple of years before I was convinced that maybe I was back home.”

“Not sure of being back home?”

“I was convinced that I was on another planet that looked like earth but wasn’t. And to make matters worse, I was convinced that I was spied on.”

“Who do you think was spying on you?”

“Well, that’s just it: I never did learn who was spying on me or even if I was being spied on in the first place.”

“So you never got over it?”

“Look, I can only speak for myself. I suppose each of us handles PTSD differently. For me, my wife cheated so I left her but then, well, after the nightmares finally stopped and I quit the booze and the drugs, well, maybe I won’t do myself in. They say if you commit suicide you can’t go to heaven so I’m doing my best to stay alive to die in a different way.”

“So you get to Heaven.”

“I want to see my pets, is what I want to do, and I know each and every one of them is waiting for me, and that’s just for starters. And then there’s my parents and grandparents and friends to welcome me. Anyway, that’s my take on life, or death.”

“Is it confusing?”

“It used to be, but not anymore.”

“So you’re not afraid to die?”

“It’s an unknown, isn’t it? But I didn’t give it much thought when I put my life on the line when I served on the front lines, now, did I? You do your duty to the best of your ability and that’s all anybody can expect. And we all fail, or fall short, or mess up in some way, but we still try and do our best, even knowing that our best isn’t good enough and never will be.”

“You’re a little bit hard on yourself, maybe.”

“And then maybe not; you see, I expect to fail, not necessarily due to my shortcomings, but because of circumstances that are beyond my control, like a bridge collapsing, or getting hit by a meteorite. It’s the philosophy that I learned in the Navy: prepare for the worst and don’t be surprised if it ends up even worse than you prepared for.”

“And that’s it?”

“In a nutshell.”

“Well, all I can say is you people are really out there.”

“You got that right. Look, I’m really trying to say this in a nice way: I like our Constitution  I like our flag; I like our president, but if anybody gives me a hard time for being a Veteran or harasses me while I wear my ‘MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN’ hat, let me just say that if I were them I wouldn’t, and that’s all I’m going to say, okay?”

“Okay with me.”

[*The World: The United States.]


A Summer Song” (2:38)


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