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posted on Oct, 4 2004 @ 02:18 PM
Well, I'm doing this as a writing exercise. I figured others might want to join in, so I put this in Collaberative. I don't know enough about you people to really make the call. Basically, the idea is to turn a memory- YOUR memory- into a short story, monologue or description. Please, try to minimize spelling and grammar errors. Well, I'll get the ball rolling.

Two years ago, my school cut a deal with an amusement park near here. Canada's Wonderland (it's like Darien Like, but near Toronto) offered to have the graduating students from a few schools stay the night. They would keep the rides open and going the entire time. The usual rules applied- no booze, no drugs, no weapons. The entire event ran from about nine at night to five in the morning.

So I'm sitting there, making mistakes from the get-go. It was sort of chilly out, so I put on a pair of heavy jeans and a long-sleeved shirt made of thick cotton. For good measure, I got a light coat lined with fleece. My mom offered her cellphone, and I refused. I didn't want her chasing me at all hours of the night. I grabbed ten bucks, which I figured was enough to grab me a meal while I was there.

It was starting to drizzle when we boarded the bus to get there at eight-thirty PM. I shrugged and got a seat by myself, being quite possibly one of the least liked people in history. The line up took an hour, plus another half hour to be patted down. By the team we got into the park, we were a little wet and damn irritated. We figured it was all good, though. We had the park to ourselves, right?

Well, there were a lot of people there, but lineups were minimal. Unfortunately, the rain had started to pick up a bit. So, I went on a few rollercoasters. No amount of rain could stop me, I thought. Hardcore!

Well, after a little bit, I felt like drizzle had sandblasted the skin from my face. Speed and rain=narr. So, I decided that instead of riding every rollercoaster, I should just ride the really good ones. I was starting to feel exceptionally wet, with my shoes and jeans feeling weighted. I tried to cross the park to get to the good rides, but unfortunately it started to out and out POUR at this point. I'm talking like Biblical proportions of rain now. By the time I found shelter, I was soaked to the bone. My coat was soaked, my jeans were soaked, my shirt and shoes were soaked. I ducked into an arcade, and got stuck.

The arcade filled up pretty quick, and I got pushed towards the back. My ten-dollar bill was now pulp, and I was slowly freezing to death next to a DDR (Dance Dance Revolution, for you old folks) machine. I spent a few hours watching assorted white kids take a shot at the game, then a few uber1337 Asian kids absolutely blow their scores out of the water. My skull was splitting from the pounding Japanese techno, so I left. I dashed from shelter to shelter- arcade to overhang to public washroom. Kids had forced doors to try to find room for themselves. Others hung clothes on the stalls and tried to dry them out.

Another few hours of pulse-pounding techno later, it was almost time I leave. Shivering and largely incoherent, I was now chronically wiping my nose with my sleeve. The rain hadn't let up, but the warmth of the bus, and ergo home, called to me. I ran out of the park, barely able to move under the weight of my clothes. I ran from bus to bus, watching my ingenious fellows break into them when bus drivers went to get a smoke instead of attending to their vehicles. After about a half hour, I found my bus and boarded. I curled up into a soggy ball and promptly passed out.

When I woke up, I was dirty as hell from having rolled onto the bus floor. I was still soaked. I staggered off the bus, swearing up a storm as my sore and aching muscles cramped up or refused to work. My dad drove me home, I took an hour long hot shower, slept for eighteen hours and was sick for a week.

And that is my heroic story.


[edit on 5-7-2005 by DeusEx]

posted on Oct, 4 2004 @ 08:31 PM
My dorm room was my home for eight months. Room 913, UC Residence in Sudbury. It was eighteen by eighteen, for me and my roommate. Fortunately, he happened to be fond of nights out, so the room was largely mine. During said months, I emerged for five reasons:

1. Food
2. Showers
3. Dump-taking
4. TV
5. Class

Obviously, I developed a bizarre set of psychoses relating to my hermetic lifestyle. I became nocturnal, spurned most daylight classes, and refused to leave except for the above reasons. I also became obsessed with my walls. Now, I had a great view, but the last of any personality in white cinderblock walls disturbed me. So, I got scissors, and stickytack, and posters, pictures, clippings...

Well, it ended up that my need for not-wall actually spread to my ceiling. Every square inch of wall on my side of the room was covering in everything from photos of friends, to cut outs of favorite articles, to game adds. Most people entering my room at night were creeped out. I had twelve posters on my walls, plus full page pictures, photos, symbols, cards...

It took me most of an hour to take down my palace.


posted on Oct, 6 2004 @ 10:46 PM
Most people would have never figured me for an ironic person, but hey, that's me. I haven't gotten my driver's liscence at time of posting (6/10/04), haven't even tried. My friends are few and far between, and my apathy overwhelming. Why get a car when you have nowhere to go, nothing to do, and no one to meet when you get there, right?

Oddly enough, I have a passionate love for sailing. I spent a summer doing it one year, and just took to it. I had a three-man crew on a lold, yellowing Albacore. This was not a particularly nice ship, if it could be called that. But, I went sailing none the less. I ended up on jib, because the boom would smack me HARD when tacking (having the boom switch sides) in any other position. For the record, I'm six foot four, one hundred and sixty pounds- so I'm kinda hard to miss. At any rate, there was this one day when we really shouldn't have been out there.

We were on an instructor's keelboat, right? My crew and the instructor. We went out on the water, heading out of the harbor. Beautiful day- sun was shining with a solid, strong wind going. The instant we got out on the water, it was insanity. Waves crested OVER the pier, which was a good six or eight feet out of the water. So we're against the current, us four, out on Lake Ontario, riding six foot waves with only a motor tugging us. We're going up and down a good twelve feet on the wave, getting soaking wet from the spray. This was exciting and dangerous and beautiful. The water was shining blue, the sun was out and it was quite a ride. The sails weren't raised for a pretty good reason- the wind was going a feaking speed. Another student was almost killed when his Lazer's boom hit him in the forehead. Poor bastard had to get nine stitches and the coast guard to haul him out of the water.

And then it happened. The instructor was having difficulty contorling the boat, so we had to turn back. But, we'd cap (capsize) or turtle (have the mast pointing directly downwards into the water) if we tried to turn on motor alone. So the instructor, he's fighting the current, and he yells to us:

"Guys! One of you get out there, clip the jib to the ropes! Spike, help me with this rudder!"

I was not Spike. I still remain not Spike. The other guy grabbed the ropes, and started to nod and gesture at me.


I had to cross twelve feet of wet, slippery deck while the boat was going up and down at almost forty-five degree angles.

Well, I hefted my ass up onto the top of the deck, and watched the ship go up another wave, waiting until it was over the top and headed down. I knew I had a few seconds of (relative) stability before we crashed into the water, then another few seconds again. So, when we crested the wave, I lunged forwards, grabbing onto the rigging with oen hand and swinging myself towards the prow. I hung on for dear life, grabbing and swinging. I got a third of the way there, then the water hit. It almost took the legs right out from under me. Again, soaking, I struggled forwards. I got the rest of the way there and grabbed a rail and the rigging. My arms burned from the strain as the nose of the ship when under the water.

I lost my legs, and I was damn lucky I didn't shoot overboard. I clung for dear life, and as soon as I cleared teh water, I rigged up that jib was quick as possible. I stayed until halfway down teh next wave, making sure I didn't get sent back out. Then, I climbed halfway back and embraced the mast, feeling the power of the water wash over me. I made it the rest of the way back, and shook myself off all over Potter, the mainsailer who had voluntold me out there. I grinned and boasted, and the jib was raised.

We made it back in record time, doing a good thirty knots with the wind and the motor. That wasn't even with the mainsail up! We saw a Lazer skip across the water like a rock, fly over a wave and lose the boater. It was utter insanity, but Goddamn was it fun.

Everyone except aforementioned 'poor bastard' made it back in one piece. It was good times. Except my arms hurt.

Learn the lesson- respectify the water, or it will pwn you.


posted on Oct, 18 2004 @ 09:30 AM
In July of 2003, me and my friend went tubing on the Guadalupe River with our girlfriends, who are twin sisters. The river ride can last between three and six hours, depending on how fast you want to take it - plenty of time to get drunk and sleepy in the sun. I lost my glasses about a minute into the ride when my friend flipped my tube over and dunked me.

When we hit the rapids, the extra tube I had trailing me that had the beer cooler in it took a spill and crashed into some rocks, sending beer all over the river. Glass bottles aren't allowed on the river, so luckily most of the beers were recoverable because beer cans float in water. Our fellow tubing enthusiasts were spiralling beers to me from all directions. Some people just took the beers that floated by them and drank them, but otherwise it was a fun experience bonding with all of the happy people.

When we came down this mini-waterfall later in the ride, the rope that was holding my two tubes together got caught on the pillar of a nearby bridge. This sucked. Some kid got caught in that and fell forward in the water with his legs pinned to the pillar and he nearly drowned. It was hectic, but everyone turned out okay.

There were these trees in the middle of the river with huge roots that created all kinds of undertow and current problems. When one begins the ride, the people who rent the tubes warn that passing the trees on the right side is death and passing them on the left* (edit) side is safe. I saw them coming and quietly drifted towards the left side, watching my girlfriend behind me come up on the right side. She realized what she was doing and tried to stop her tube by jumping in the river and standing up on the riverbed, but the current was forcing her on. She ended up passing on the right without much of a problem, but it was just funny seeing her fight the current and I'll never forget it. I started yelling "TOTALLY EXTREME TUBING!@!!#" after that every time there was a rapid and I would try to do some "tubing tricks" to the extent that that is even possible.

Man, those were the days... I'm not with that girl anymore, but that summer was the sweetest and happiest of my life.


[edit on 18-10-2004 by Zipdot]

posted on Nov, 14 2004 @ 11:49 PM
If there's one thing I miss, it's Sudbury. Sudbury is a city in northern Ontario in Canada, where I spent a year studying. It's beautiful- the town is small, the people friendly. I spent most of the time on campus, which is on a hill. It overlooked a lake, as well as being almost entirely forested. The skies were clear, and there was a host of wildlife on campus or near it- I had seen deer, rabbits, foxes and even caught a glimpse of a wolf. Loved it up there.

During the winter, it got COLD. It got fierce cold, almost thirty below on a regular basis. Snow was usually a foot thick. But it got fierce beautiful. The campus was always gorgeous. But during the winter, you could look up at night and see everything. As we all know, I was nocturnal, so I did that a lot. All the stars in the sky, it looked like, peering out from the branches of the trees.

Well, needless to say, I'm a sucker for a pretty girl. My ex and one of her friends decided I was to be their escort to Tim Hortons, at three in the morning in the dead of winter. Naturally, I agreed feeling peckish myself. So, we geared up and left. It was fifty below, with the windshear.

We ended up shortcutting across the lake, which was frozen. We had been out for a half our, and we were freezing. We each got a little frostbite. It was so cold, that you couldn't blink or your eyelashes would freeze together. Halfway across the lake, I concentrated on putting one foot in front of the other. I was leading the group, making the trail in the pure powder. I shielded them from the wind (slightly) trying not to think about how cold it was. I looked up in despair and saw the most beautiful sight I have ever seen- the sky. The endless sky, packed with stars. Somehow, that kept me going long enough to thaw in Tim Hortons. I was willing to go back out in the cold right afterwards, but the others opted for a cab. I relented and we went back home.


[edit on 5-7-2005 by DeusEx]

posted on Mar, 21 2005 @ 12:19 AM
I miss this thread. It's a bit of fun, but I wish others would post.

So anyways, when I was twelve, I lived on the south shore of Montreal. We had this HUGE pine tree out front. When I say huge, I mean absolutely huge. We're talking four stories tall, or more. But, at any rate, there was this gap at teh side where you could slip in under the first canopy, sit in the powdery dirt and see without being seen. Plus, it smelt kick-ass. But that's not the point. You could also climb the branches, because there was a mazish route through the brush and the branches were arranged so they almost always formed sixty degree angles. You could climb pretty far up, which I did pretty often. But, about a week before we moved, I went up there aroudn sunset and climbed farther than I usually went, probably two thirds of the way up. I was ten, maybe fifteen feet above the rooftops of my quaint suburban neighborhood. I sat there for about a half hour, watching the sun set over my home.


posted on Aug, 6 2005 @ 05:35 AM
Most people associate pain with that word, but you can't even compare. I was getting all of my wisdom teeth out in one sitting, so I was understandably nervous. I sat with my dad, stewing for about twenty minutes and getting increasingly nervous. I had braces for years, so I knew the kind of unspeakable, horrible pain that dentists could cause.

So, the doctor lays me out on table, gets a tray of menacing looking tools, and starts brandishing them at me. Now, at this point, I have nothing to numb the pain. So, seeing this short Asian man in a mask and a rather attractive nurse wielding what appears to be articles of torture, I speak up.

"Hey doc, don't I get gas or something?"

"Oh, sorry Chris. The gas machine is broken. If you had scheduled your appointment one day later, you could have gotten a nice buzz. Too bad, open wide."

Well, at least he knew my name. So, I opened my mouth reluctantly, and he promptly jammed a needle right in there and started freezing my mouth, bit by bit. Emptied a full needle into me. His last poke though, he struck a nerve and sent burning cold shooting through my jaw. I tried to make a noise, but the doctor just used me opening my mouth wider as an excuse to put his forearm across my chin, perpendicular to my neck, and lean. And then, he got the pliers.

No, I am not even joking.

He reached in there, and removed four teeth in ten minutes with nothing but a pair of dental pliers. Of course, at that point, the pain and mental confusing subdued me. I snapped out of it when he said, "Whoops, got blood on your shirt. Well, I needed a break, anyways. Nurse, give the kid some juice."

At this point, Attractive Nurse obligingly handed me a small bottle of juice with a straw in it. I realized that my mouth was packed with bloody gauze. So I tried to drink around it, it didn't work. However, my blood did end up having a nice orange tang to it for the rest of the operation. Yes, there was more.

Before I knew it, the vicious little guy was back in there. He took away my juice (which made me sad) and took out the gauze. He tore two more teeth out of my head in five minutes, sutured everything up so I wouldn't bleed to death on the way home, repackaged my face with gauze, and sent me on my way, juice in hand, with a smile and a handshake. No pain meds, just antibiotics in case I got the sepsis.

It took me half an hour to realize what had happened. On the plus side, the rest of the juice was pretty good, and despite the brutal, painful method of extraction, I was fine the next day. Very little bleeding, and surprisingly enough, the system shock was enough to keep the swelling at nil! I was able to enjoy my weekend with nothing more than slurred speech.


[edit on 28-8-2005 by DeusEx]

posted on Aug, 6 2005 @ 07:19 AM
Dear readers,

Oh, what a remarkable experience DE has portrayed for us as victim to a torture chamber replete with, no doubt, happy colours, antiseptic furnishings gleaming through tears, musack tinkling nondescript melodies while an adlibbing executioner and his lovely assistant wield their terrible tools in front of his terror stricken eyes.

I, and, no doubt many of you as well, trembled in sympathy at his helpless plight, sighing in relief towards the end of the story that all worked out fine.

But, this is not the reason I'm posting on this thread, for, indeed, to me, it was the description of Sudbury which prompted me to add the wonder of
nature and Canada's northern regions.

For my story, I must reach deep into the memories bag. The time was 1971 and I was a young man of 24 years, married, with a babe-in-arms, when circumstance drove me to the employment opportunities to be found in the North-West Territories. On the northern shore of Great Slave Lake lies the small community of Yellowknife. named for a tribe of Native Americans who, at one time, lived there.

The town is actually two places...Old town and New Town. The former is an island seperated from the shore by a small channel while the latter tumbles down a sloping swath of bedrock towards it. Old Town, as the name implies, has long been around, since the Hudsons Bay Company had established a trading post there over a century ago.

But that's enough of it's sometimes tragic history, for it has many stories to tell, this town of trappers and miners in the Land of the Midnight Sun. I want to tell you of some of it's finery, just as DE did while talking about Sudbury.

The summers do actually have the sun shining 24 hours a day as it wheels through the sky and it is not unusual for weekend warriors to go swimming at midnight or take advantage of the extended daylight to party hardy all 'night' long.

The opposite, though, happens in December and darkness reigns supreme over this land of white. The skies sparkle with multitudes of stars impossible to imagine until you've seen for yourselves. The Milky way is so dense, it almost seems heavy, defying gravity to pull it to ground, while the Aurora Borealis sweeps across this veil of the cosmos in colours ranging from electric greens to vibrant oranges and sultry reds. As you stand in the absolute silence of the North, where not even the distant whine of a truck sullies your ears, you can indeed hear the Aurora crackling through the heavens.

The air is usually quite still, so even the wind is hushed as you stand in awe of one of the greatest sights you could imagine on this planet. As you stand upon the ancient bedrock, surveying the universe, one can sense the rolling planet beneath your feet as it rushes around the sun. Your place in the universe is planted permanently in your brain and you feel a oneness, a sympathy as clear as DE's plight in the dentists office, that you are HERE.

Later, as you walk back towards the dark town, pillars of steam are etched against the blackness of space, popping up here and there as if some Mordor lay ahead, pumping out Orcs for the Illuminati plot. But, no, these are doors opening willy nilly as people exit their homes to go to work, do the laundry or some such. The vapour laden air from inside escapes and produces a pillar a hundred feet high every time.

Timber wolves and sled dogs run together through the town, now and then, in homage to the wildness of the place, while ravens talk silliness from atop poles, answering you in comic languages you can only hear for yourself...description is impossible. Walking on towards your home, you might see Ptarmigan, a small bird much like a grouse, its plumage a ghostly white, running ahead of you on impossibly quick legs. These birds are the most delicious little 'chickens' you'd ever had on your plate and yet they are commonplace.

The first person you meet on the streets as you get closer to home, you know, and he/she nods gravely as is the custom there. To not acknowledge is somehow 'Southern', disdainful and a sin amongst those who actually live in this community so close to the Yukon. Besides, you actually do know that person, you've seen them a hundred times on a hundred days.

But, before I get too longwinded and get accused of being verbose, I must tell you, dear reader, of the most awe inspiring sight afforded in this remote place on earth. It is the experience of 'Ice Fog' which has burned itself into my memory, never to be supplanted.

Imagine, if you can, a brightly sunlit spring morning, when the snows of winter still lie deep upon the ground and the temperature still dips to a bone chilling 20 below zero F. The windless air is clear, and yet is full of diamonds sparkling every colour a prism can manage. These minute crystals, suspended and turning, flash hues unimaginably beautiful. Buildings, bare trees, vehicles, parking meters...all of it, everything is covered with a frosting of these crystals. The entire town, and all of it's features are thickly coated and all of it is like an impossible dream.

Oh, the North has a lure, alright, and it is a call I will ever hear because, like DE and his love of Sudbury, once you are smitten, dear reader, you are sunk, and wherever you may wander upon this wondrous world, if you close your eyes, you see the fantasy of the ice fog and, if you listen carefully, you can hear the electric swishing of the Aurora, the lonely call of the timber wolf and the silence of the North calling you back to a place where you're a stranger only the first day you're there.

I beg you, dear fellow travellers upon this planet, don't ignore the far North, wherever you may live. Go there and experience a wonder of winters' glorious finery unparalled and be amazed.


posted on Aug, 6 2005 @ 09:28 AM
I was 28, and I was terrified.

The room was cold, and I was wearing the latest fashion in BabyPoo Brown surgical gowns, which draped fetchingly over the front of my body leaving my back exposed.

A nurse entered the room, checked the name-tag on my wrist, and briskly explained the shot she was about to give. It was to be a dual-purpose injection, designed to reduce secretions and make me drowsy. A couple of minutes later it wasn't doing much for my hyper-alert state, and I sat there on the cold mattress, watching the second-hand lead it's way around the clock with an excrutiatingly slow "tick....tick....".

My mind played games. Was I doing the right thing? Should I just up and leave, and run far, far away from this place of seclusion and sutures? Perhaps my condition had been wrongly diagnosed. Perhaps all three doctors were wrong. Maybe there was another way?

I knew my reality. I knew I had two choices - surgery, or a lifetime of pain medication and misery. But that didn't stop my imagination from running awry and trying to convince me otherwise.

After a seemingly torturous length of time (which in reality was another four minutes) another nurse appeared, with a gurney and two orderlies in tow.

"Ready?" she asked.

"Can I say no?" I responded, smiling weakly.

"Sure - but we both know you'll regret it. You're going to be fine, Tess."

"Then...let's get this show on the road, eh?"

The tiles on the ceiling were pink and blue - almost nursery-ish. Pink for girls, blue for boys. Oh, the irony was completely lost on me until later. I tried to count those tiles on the way down to the OR, but I was distracted by voices, and becoming increasingly drowsy.

The two orderlies - they did have names, but my mind was foggy and even their faces were blurry - parked me, pulled a blanket over my legs for warmth and wished me good luck. I think I said "Shuuuuuure, the Phillies will win, you know!".

My surgeon appeared, clad in surgical scrubs (and he had such a hairy chest. Such a really, really hairy chest. I'd never noticed before), and gave me his best "You're in my hands now, and I'm the expert" grin. His anesthesiologist joined us, and talked to me - about sunscreen, of all things - while fixing the IV and giving me the "Planet Happy" juice, as she called the oddly greenish looking concoction.

"Count backwards from 100, Tess"

"one hunnnn......teh.........hnf......"

Four hours later, slightly panicked, I screamed at the nurse "WAIT!!! I'm not asleep!!!!".

She laughed, and said "You're're you need anything for pain?"

Completely puzzled, but with a sense of relief that cannot be put into words, I nodded. I wasn't sure if I was feeling pain, but I figured "better to stave it off than have to treat it after the effect".

Four hours of surgery, for a routine operation which usually took 2 hours, tops.

But I was cured. Completely. Utterly.

And I was cured for life.

posted on Aug, 6 2005 @ 01:05 PM
Memories of Christmases

When I would wake up on Christmas morning there would be a sack at the end of my bed full to the brim with everything a kid could want. Except a bike. I never got a bike. Every other kid in the street on Christmas morning would be out in full glory, bells trinkling, riding around on bright sparkling bikes of all descriptions. But me, no bike, just another year of longing for one and begging my parents. No No it's too dangerous. My parents were vindicated when I borrowed a friends bike at 12 and decided to crash into a car, which gave me a few weeks in hospital, 234 stitches and effectively sent my face wonky along with costing me five lovely teeth.

I got my own back on those two wheeled kids though one Christmas though , by being the first kid in the street to have my own roller skates and skateboard (my parents had given up by this time). To call me in of an afternoon, mum would walk out to the street, survey all the trees in the street, walk up to one and call up it, time to come home now. It still has me beat trying to figure out how she knew WHICH tree I was in and I tried to confuse her daily to no avail.

We always had Christmas lunch at my Paternal Grandparent's house, Gran B's. My dad's mum was a icon all of her own. I remember being dragged to church each Sunday kicking and screaming, it made no difference the next Sunday. My Grandmother was "knighted" by the Queen, well not quite knighted but the Queen of England bestowed Australia's high honours, the OAM upon her (Order of Australia). She was also the president of the New South Wales Rose Society, New South Wales Mothers Union and New South Wales Adult Deaf Society. Granddad was president of this and that too.

I think you can imagine that little rebellious wild child me and my Gran-B didn't see eye to eye on too many things. So most of the time I used to dread going to Gran-Bs. The cup of tea and china scene with all the high society falseness has never appealed to me. When i was a child I spent so much time traveling around Australia with my father that I preferred reality and true people even then.

But having said that Christmas was something else. My sister and I and my two cousins would arrive before lunch and open the presents. Then we would sit down to a banquet, a table laden with ham, chicken and turkey with home made sauces and scrumptious salads..... mind you served on the Royal Doulton china which made me scared to even breathe on it. The ironic part of this is that I inherited the Royal Doulton when Gran-B died....Its under my old bed at mums now...I trust my kids less than I trusted myself.

Anyway after lunch Gran-B would take us around the rose garden and dahlias and let us play the huge organ and piano and rock in her lovely recliners. Gran-B had a stunning view over Wollongong, the coastline, beaches, steelworks and straight down into the railway yard in town so we would be allowed to use Granddad's binoculars to watch the trains arrive and depart. Then about 2 30pm we would pack up and go home to get changed.

At about 4 we would go down to my mum's mum's place for dinner.This I looked forward to all the time. My mum's mum was the sweetest, huggliest lady you could ever meet. My grandpa was an English gentleman and Gran-T was a real lady. She helped everyone who needed it and gave me more love as a child than most people receive in their lives. She deserved the Queens award just as much as my Gran-B did. My great uncles would be there and I would touch my great uncles war bullet wounds in amazement and ask them all sorts of weird questions. I asked everyone weird questions back then.

I would wander down the back of Grandpa's huge garden and eat the fresh strawberries off the plants and pick at the mulberries on the tree at the bottom of the garden, after I had climbed it of course. Grandpa would then let me water his orchids in his nursery and greenhouse, which was almost larger than his house. I still today have grandpa's Orchids growing in the same concrete pots in my greenhouse out the back here in QLD.

Dinner was another banquet affair, roasts and pork...and all things yummy with pudding and ice cream and custard. After dinner I would sit in front of Grandpa's bookcase and read through all his old books, some of those books from the beginning of the 1900's had lovely full colour hand painted plates to go along with the stories. I would be asleep later when came time for mum and dad to take my sister and myself home.

Those memories are the ones I hold dearest to myself now. I play through those movies of the mind at will and transport myself back to that carefree time where Santa Claus climbed down the chimney and the stockings would be bursting full.

All my Grans and Great Uncles are all gone now, as is my precious Sister Catherine and the chance for my kids to have cousins of their own to play with and so its down to the next Gen

My parents now live 3400 kilometres away from me ... We have yet to decide whether they will fly up here or we will drive down there to Wollongong, to the same house I grew up in. But it will be one of the two. You see I want to instill that same magic I enjoyed at Christmas as a child into my children and see the looks of joy and happiness and love and contentment on their faces. I want them to share the feeling of family and all that is really important in this world.

Christmas isn't about the presents. That's a bonus I guess.....its about the magic, the love and most of all family.............

[edit on 6-8-2005 by Mayet]

posted on Aug, 6 2005 @ 06:58 PM
How I Helped Win the Cold War and Should’ve Gotten the Medal of Honor, but Didn’t.

Okay, I’m seventeen and a senior in high school. It’s November, and Christmas vacation and my eighteenth birthday were right around the corner. I already knew how I’d spend my Christmas: playing submarine sailor.

This was 1962, and we’d just skated through the closest we’d come to a full-fledged nuclear war then or since. Kennedy and Khrushchev had gone eyeball to eyeball, and Nikita blinked. The Soviets were going to pull their IRBMs from Cuba, we’d pull ours from Turkey, and we wouldn’t have a Christmas crop of mushrooms after all.

Nine months earlier, as soon as I’d turned seventeen, I’d enlisted in the Navy Reserve. One weekend a month at the Anacostia River reserve base, then the summer between my junior and senior year I did Great Lakes, then the Sub School at New London. I was just ready to make E-3, full of viss and pinegar, and running away from home at last! – even if it was jut for two weeks active duty.

You can put in for wherever you want, but you go where they send you, and I got orders for Norfolk. A couple other young punks and I went aboard the Runner, an old diesel- electric Fleet Class boat born, like me, in the closing days of World War II.

Being reservists and stupid, we were initially told to stay out of the way and sent to find our racks in the aft torpedo room as the boat cast off. Within a day we’d pretty much finished puking our guts out and were sent to do kid stuff as the boat sailed south to Guantanamo to “monitor the removal of Soviet missiles” from Castroville.

Now the stuff that most people see sailors doing on a boat in the movies -- bow and stern diving planes, periscope watch, topside lookout – are typically those very things done by boots still wet behind the ears. Obviously, they’re not going to let a bunch of ignorant teenagers loose in the engine room! So here we were, standing diving plane watches, and – since we were running surfaced most of the time – watches on the rigging (what they now call the ‘sail’) above the conning tower.

Now here’s how the deal works. There’re two men topside at all time, the Junior Officer On Deck (typically an Ensign or a JG), and the enlisted guy. When the OOD down in the conning tower secured for dive stations, he’d call up to the JOOD to dive. At that point, the enlisted guy (me, in this case) would rack the klaxon twice (a-OOO-gah! A- OOO-gah!), say “Dive! Dive!” into the annunciator, and precede the JOOD below. Yee-haw.

Well, its about sunset, and the Atlantic’s pretty heavy, and the JOOD has to climb halfway down the ladder to hear the order to dive. Instead of climbing back up, he yells up at me, “Signal for dive, Kunz, and lay below and secure the hatch.”

If you haven’t been in the Navy, you gotta understand they speak a strange language which is a cross between English and Ancient Atlantean. “Lay below” means “climb down here”, and “secure the hatch” means “lock the hatch” which you do by spinning a wheel in the middle of the hatch, which is counterbalanced and weighs about 200 pounds.

“Signal-for-dive-lay-below-and-secure-the-hatch-AYE-sir!” I shriek – I’m loving this! – rack the klaxon twice, “divedive”, scramble down the ladder, and slam the hatch to...

…On my right thumb.

I read somewhere God gave man kidney stones so he’d have at least a faint idea of the pain a woman goes through in childbirth. I never had stones, but with a two-hundred steel plate slamming on my thumb, I don’t need no Lamaze Training, thank you very much. I managed to spin the locking wheel and fell into the conning tower, squeezing back most of the blood and not yelling – not much anyway.

Give the JOOD credit; he went up the ladder and checked that the hatch was secured, then turned to the Chief of the Boat. “Chief Sudduth, take Kunz to sick bay on the double and then report back to me”, probably already cursing to himself at the paperwork he’d have to fill out after he got off watch.

Now the “Chief of the Boat” is the senior enlisted man on the boat, and he knows more than anyone, even the Captain, and probably as much as Jesus. Chief Sudduth was an old man indeed, actually over forty, and really was a decent fellow. I mean, the Chiefs in boot camp yelled at us, but he was more like a teacher and a father confessor to the younger sailors, although he’d downside you in a heartbeat if you didn’t know your stuff.

Anyway I’m screwing my face up, tears are pouring down my cheeks, my thumbnail already gone, and a nauseous throbbing and blood and more blood and Jesus-H-Christ-on-a-pony, it HURT!. We’re squeezing through the aft battery compartment when the Chief pats my shoulder. “Think of it this way, Kunz; we’re already in deep kimchee with the commies and the missile stuff, so when the state of national emergency comes, they’ll probably make it retroactive, and you’ll be good to go.”

I hadn’t the faintest idea what he was talking about and asked him what he meant.

“Injury suffered during a national emergency, Kunz, while in pursuit of the enemy forces” (I assumed he meant the Soviet freighters taking out the missiles). I looked at him blankly.

“Purple Heart, Kunz! Purple Heart!”

The pain stopped immediately.

A shot of Demerol, a puff bandage and a watch in the rack, and I was back on watch. My hand may have hurt, but I wasn’t aware of it.

I was coming home with a Purple Heart!
I’d be a hero!
I’d be the talk of the school!
My father would be so proud!
I’d finally get laid!

Two weeks passed, we’d driven the Communist scum from the shores of America, and we were putting back in to Norfolk. The watch before we landed, I ran into the XO, the second highest officer in the boat, and diffidently asked him how the paperwork was coming. “What paperwork is that, Kunz?” he asked.

“The Purple Heart paperwork, sir,” I replied. “Chief Sudduth…” and I explained everything.

God bless him, he didn’t laugh, although his jaw muscles working with the effort. He actually put his arm on my shoulder, and said, “Kunz, I’m afraid Chief Sudduth was pulling your leg (well, he didn’t say “leg”)…”

Damned if the thumb didn’t start hurting again!

And that’s how I won the war and should’ve got a medal and didn’t.

But my father was proud, and sooner or later, I finally … well, you know.

posted on Aug, 6 2005 @ 11:04 PM
Of all my family, my dog has always been my favorite of the bunch. He is more than a pet, he's a friend. I've had him for eight years now, coming on nine. No matter what, he's always been there for me...well, as much as a dog can be. He guarded me against my brother's shovelhead hordes while I slept, kept me company on long walks, and was generally inoffensive. As well, he managed to draw attractive women towards me.

My dog is a German shepherd/golden retriever mix, about a hundred pounds. Long hair, shepherd facial features, retriever-colored fur, and he's tame as a kitten. Hell, I put my hand in his mouth, and he spits it out.

Well, generally.

When he feels compelled, he is more than capable of harm. He hasn't done any serious damage to anyone I know - you know, some scrapes, some bruises- but then again, I didn't know the vet. The vet, he got stupid. My dog wasn't muzzled during a check up a few years back, and the doctor kept pulling the dog's nose up. He didn't like it, so he growled. Me and my dad, we said "I wouldn't do that # if I were you."

He ignored us, of course. My dog started snarling, at which point the assistant present echoed our sentiments. He didn't listen, and my dog put a canine right through the vet's hand in short order. He couldn't sue us, of course, but we couldn't go back there.

Bearing this in mind, the day I left for university, the dog knew something was afoot, and decided to do his best to stop it. He whined, howled, pawed. Nothing. So, the instant he got the opportunity, he leapt out the door. Out the door, and into the van, which was being loaded. Specifically, into the driver's seat. Once there, he defended the van like some fallen packmate. He snarled and growled with serious intent, hackles up and teeth fully exposed. Anyone who's ever been around a dog knows that's when they mean business, and most people are smart enough to back down.

So, I sat there, and sorta looked around. What could I do?

I tried bribing him out with his favorite food, cheese. It didn't work.

I tried pushing him out with a snow shovel, and almost lost a finger.

I tried spraying him with water, but that just made the car smell.

I opened the door, and he was NOT happy.

So, finally, with the aid of my brother (who was more than happy to see me go) we lassoed him with some rope, and dragged him out and back into the house. Apparently, he suffered some serious depression for the months afterwards. When I visited some months later, he was the one happiest to see me, running around, bringing me a towel and several bones, whining. His ears were back and he trotted around like a a puppy. It was great. Also, I knew what to expect and slipped out more quietly, not having the sum total of my material possessions to carry with me. But ever since, my dog is rarely out of my sight. He sleeps in my room, follows me around, and generally is happy. Also, he longer attempts to block my escape. Which is nice.


posted on Aug, 29 2005 @ 12:53 AM
My line of work is, unfortunately, fairly hazardous. Even in training, things can go wrong which could result in several of my favorite arteries being perforated. On a good day, the physical part of training leaves me a tired, sweaty, bruised lump of flesh. On a bad day, well, I'm badly bruised, raw, maybe bleeding. All in all, I love what I do. The training is fun as hell if you can ignore the pain, and it leaves me in good shape. It's different, I guess, from sitting at a desk. You get up, work with your hands, learn the hard way. Yeah, it hurts some days, but I still enjoy it, and you damn well remember what you learned.

Hello, my name is Chris, and I'm training to go into law enforcement and/or security. This is a memory of my first year doing this.

I've done retention, search and seizure, first aid, firearms, unarmed combat, disarming, batons... but the most painful experience I've had while in school was definitely handcuffing. Not even pain compliance was so bad. Everything we learn is applied to us by our classmates in sparring situations, if you're lucky. If you're mouthy to the teacher, you get to be the Training Dummy.

This is a bad thing.

The teacher was a man-monster from the local Guns and Gangs unit, two hundred and fifty pounds and six feet even if he was anything at all. Ex army, been on the force longer than most of us had been alive. He had to demonstrate everything on SOMEONE, so the mouthy ones got picked. If you were good and didn't go limp or struggle or anything, he'd go easy on you. You fight him or just flop, and the experience got exponentially more unpleasant. I avoid such duties, however, knowing when to keep my face shut. However, this did not exempt me from handcuff training.

We were issued the real thing, and day after day, we took turns slapping them on each other. It is, quite literally, a slapping action. You apply a fair amount of force to the cuff in an effort to get it on your partner. You do it right, it chafes a little but flicks right on there. Tighten it up, and you're good to go. You do it wrong, and you've done nothing but bruise the suspect's wrists, maybe cut them a little with the teeth. Now, imagine a bunch of fumbling students taking turns training on each other in a gymnasium, screeches of pain ringing out every now and again. Now, imagine said teacher walking around, critiquing your technique, giving out the occasional impromptu lesson or dishing out pushups for failure.

It wasn't much fun.

We did this once a week, for about a month, for about two hours after being PTed (physically trained) until we puked. You could pick out your classmates in a crowd because we all had swollen, raw, bruised, cut up wrists. We'd dread every class, but we'd accept it. Pain comes and goes, but friendships are built on pain. We got closer as a class sharing the experience, learning together. I look back now, it doesn't seem quite as bad. Pain starts to lose its meaning after awhile. But from about a month of training, I managed to pick out the people in my class I could trust with my wedding ring. From there, we learned you could trust some people implicitly, and some...well, training with them resulted in sprains and cuts. Now, how many desk jockies could do that in a year, much less the eight months of training? I mean, competence at your job is one thing, but would you willingly hand every coworker you had a tazer, a pistol, an asp, and honestly be able to turn your back on them and trust them with your life?


posted on Oct, 31 2005 @ 01:31 AM
There are moments in life in which focus is total and perfection is nearly absolute. Everything clicks, there isn't a thought in your head. You cease to be. There is only action.

Man, I love those moments.

The ancients used to find those moments in athletics, archery, war, swordplay. I find it in similar veins. the last time I found it, it was in shooting. The exercise was simple- four targets, two to the chest, one to the head. If you aren't familiar with the term, it refers to the way we're taught to shoot. Basically, you're taught to fire for center of mass twice (the chest of a person, which is quite hard to miss if they're standing still and full of fairly important organs) and then hit them in the head if you can before moving on to the next threat. Why go for the head after giving them two to the chest? Well, several reasons. First, that won't kill them right away. Even if I hit you in the heart and the bullet obliterates the organ, you have fifteen whole seconds of life to kill me with. Secondly, the person might be wearing body armor...if they are, you probably bruised them but really didn't stop the threat. So, we incorporate the headshot into almost every application. I mean, it's only practical.

Anyways, this is also a movement exercise. The idea was that we hit the first two targets as we advance into cover (a post on the range), reload, hit the other two targets as we backed away from them into cover (behind an armored lighting fixture), and reload again. Six shots, you say? The choice weapon on the range is either a Glock 17 9mm, or a SW 686 .357 magnum revolver. I usually take the revolver, just because the Glock sits funny in my hand. That, and .357 is universally both impressive and the finest manstopper even invented. But, the rangemaster was out of .357, so I bought a box of .38s instead.

So, I'm standing there, staring down four silhouette targets, the massive ex-military rangemaster behind me. The revolver is holstered, I've got two speedloaders ready, everything's ready to go. I hear the command.


My hand grips Hogue rubber, fingers wrapping into grooves as I hit the thumbreak. The clatter of the gun coming up and free in a perfect draw announces my advance. I sight up effortlessly, still moving diagonally. My steps are low sweeps, moving empty speedloaders, magazines and brass aside. BANGBANG - two tight shots, just below the cardboard target's sternum, great group. I sight up the head, BANG- right in the mouth.

I keep moving, switching targets easily. Not a thought in my pretty little head as I line my sight picture up on the head. BANGBANGBANG- three to the center of the head. I'm on autopilot, hitting the cylinder release as I move into cover. The brass hits the ground about when I do, kneeling and leaning up against the post. My hand already has the speedloader in it. I can't feel it, and I lose time. I'm told I threw it over my shoulder as I brought the gun up, one handed. BANGBANGBANG- my left only gets on the gun for the final shot of the third target, but it doesn't matter. Three headshots as I shuffle backwards. BANGBANG- two more to the head, I guess I'm adventurous- BANG- last one to the chest.

Panting, I'm back in my body, kneeling and fumbling for another speedloader. I finish up, scan, get the 'holster up' command. My fingers are burnt (guns get HOT!). But it was almost perfect, the rangemaster said. Except for the final reload, it was fantastic. It was a Zen moment.


posted on Jul, 2 2006 @ 04:25 AM
A lot of my memories go back to Sudbury. I guess I left a little part of myself there, before I took up the sword in a more literal sense than a lot of people are comfortable with. It took me and swept me away from Sudbury, but still...I think of it as the place I found myself.My first real, serious girlfriend I left there. It was a definite choice for the better in hindsight. You can see traces of her in my literary work, I suppose, much like anyone else who has had a fair amount of influence in my life. That's what this memory is about, I suppose.

She was beautiful, absolutely gorgeous. She was kind, compassionate, prettymuch everything I'm not. I suppose that why I'm penning this at five in the effing morning, because I have to get things off my mind. Off my conscience. It happens. Anyways, we lived two doors down from one another, and our relationship was rocky at best. Other people on the floor of the dorm (well as the one below and two above) practically set their watches by us. I didn't care- I slept during the day, went to classes at night, ate garbage, went out of my mind. She was a small bit of sanity. Well, not quite, but she made things bearable. Any undisturbed sleep, any decent dreams, any restful nights I had were because she was curled up at my side.

Sudbury by night is beautiful from the campus of Laurentian university. I've written about it already, so you have an ideal of what it's like. You can't really know, of course- the amber of the security lights is barely enough to blot out the stars, and they're few and far between. The sky's so brilliant that all you need to guide your steps is the snow and the pale moonlight. And that's where I found myself that night, feet sinking into the virgin powder in the woods near the Thornloe building. There was some light powder falling, and it must have been twenty below, easy. But I tromped through the snow heedlessly, head spinning.

My girlfriend had made what qualified as a fatal mistake as far as I had been concerned. We had been quietly watching TV in my room, when she curled up against me and murmured something into my shoulder. I turned to her with a contented 'wassat?'

"I love you, Chris."

It was like being punched in the stomach. Hard. Breath left my body as she looked up at my gaping mouth.


"What's the matter, Chris?"

I couldn't vocalize, and after a few seconds she tore off crying. I just sort of lay there under my heavy quilt. What...the...hell? I mean, we had broken up three times in four months of being together. How could she love me? Me? How? Why? So soon?

I threw on my jacket and my toque, headed out into the wilderness. I walked as far as I could, along ski trails and footpaths, heedless of the snow. It was something so foreign to me. The concept, even. I didn't see it coming, not in the least. I'd felt something like it, maybe, unrequited. My stomach did flip flops as I tried to figure out how I felt. I mean, for the very first time, I was taking my life day by day, step by step. I had true freedom, no micromanagement, nothing. I had good friends on the internet, I had rediscovered my love of writing, I had a beautiful girlfriend...

I wasn't thinking about love, which was probably why it snuck up on me and hit me over the head with a brick.

I found myself in Sudbury, or I started to. I got back, chilled to the bone, and shook off the snow. the night watchman tipped his hat to me, and I barely acknowledged him. I stood in the rickety elevator, feeling my shins and boots begin to thaw out. Nothing had settled into place, but I had to talk to her. It wasn't unwanted, just sudden. I stepped off, numbly knocked gently before letting myself into her room. Her room mate was asleep, so I quietly knelt by her bedside. Yup, asleep too. I pried off worn leather gloves. Called her name. She cracked a bleary eye open.

"Love you too, dear. More than you know."

I stroked her hair once, kissed her forehead. She rolled over. Oh yeah, she was pissed. I sighed, let myself out again, took a long, hot shower. We worked it out, of course, over MSN...mostly because she was hurt and furious, and I was downright exhausted and depressed after six hours of mulling it over, talking it over with folks online. So, once I woke up in the evening, we tried again. It worked for all of six weeks before we broke up again, the day before Valentine's. Then, we got back together two and a half weeks later. Like clockwork.


posted on Aug, 2 2006 @ 10:34 PM
One day there was this girl she never knew what the next minute would bring and she never betted for one second that it would be bad. Every moment was lived in a world where the pages where blank and the story was unwritten, she kept a saying in mind that never left her side, through each day her life past her by, she worked in her ways and lived in her book, she never gave up and she never surrenderd.
Always having a heart of love and a mind of passion, a passion of life to never end, each moment she would see a heart in need, her instincts overcame her fears and took her life where she never could believe, at everydays end she new her pages end, another chapter of life was about to begin. Before each night she would wonder about life, about each moment she had to live, knowing that love she had and never did, from each nights passing to every mornings awake her life brought upon a way of faith, no to many people could see the life she had created nor the world she had made, this girl was special and no one would tell her, on and on she found a meaning to life that fueled her every second, from writing each sentence to enjoying each page, her life was written as in every fate.
She was more amazing than anyone could know, and that world was about to know. When oneday she came upon a life, beaten and tossed from turmoil and hate, a life hidden behind each wave, there was this boy who had captured her eye, in a certain second all was in a whurl. As for her and this boy they shared something in common they had there own book, each word and sentence was written by hand and each page next was always blank, from each minute that passed there was a life being created between the two they knew, a feeling of living that none of them has ever knew, it was a feeling of knowing each word and space was placed in the space, each line of there books was exactly the same, following each other into the world set before them, learning together the life waiting before them.
Each day would pass and the closer the two stories would unite, one in darkness and one in light, each one helped each learn of the sides until one of them brought them life. The boy was learning that lightness was in his every move and every thought would change to his fate, he began to tell her how special she was. Her light was in his life and his life was in hers, each one began to see the fate and how special it was, from the world that was being created to the each page that was finished there two lives connected more than ever.
Each time there was a passing and a page skipped in there growth the closer to two came, they both would fill in the pages with there thoughts of each other, each knew that no matter there bond would last, apart or together the lines would be together again, from then on there hearts began to act and fate was no longer in course. The true love of life was writting each page and each light, from each other a power beagn to grow, a power each of them knew was to go, in time it would be right but until then, the love for each began to take control again. When the storms would come, and when the boy was down she woudl lift him and say "lets dance in the rain" to lighten up his spirit thats all she knew how to do, when it was that was down he would hold her tight and when it would rain harder all he would say "everything is going to be ok".
This boy had something special about him that she began to see, he would love her no matter what would happen or be, when the words came out, when she knew she was down, that made her cry to know it was actually right, "i love you" he said, and grabbed her hand, dont worry about the wrong we all have done sometime in our life, just know i love you and that will never change.
From there, there worlds began to come together and there hearts began to attach, this was growing deeper than any of the two could see, underneath the love of patience, humility and respect breeded a life that no one expected. A bond was was made and there lives connected, now no one could seperate this truth, all in all, there words began to merge each day that would each one would write together the words of the future and read the times of the past. Each time the page would rip, the book would become tighter, the more that each of them began to worry the more it began to grow, warming there every heart beat till pain was no more.
The life of love was made, a bond of true respect was established and a life of humility was created. There would never be a loss between them, no matter which path they began to take there hearts would always be together and there lives would always be as one.
The two did become one, in soul and in life, covered in lightness and growing in love, it was the universe knew and it was the one thing that life is meant for. The boy began to grow and leave his past behind, knowing the pain he had was no longer in mind, and for the girl she began to see that loving someone else is all that she needs. Running away the two jumped and saw, there lives behind them all woven together and binded in one love story that no one can make, it all happens in fate.
So at the end of the day the two sat down together and he said, "we still have each other and we still have this life, the pages before us are still unwritten and we have to choose, is it love we want or the fate unwritten." and she said, "i choose the fate unwritten because 'I know our love is real' and that will never end, so the life unwritten is all we need to live each day with the pages untouched and the life unset, knowing our love will take care of us no matter how the book ends."

posted on Aug, 21 2006 @ 11:56 PM
About a year ago, I went out in the morning with a cup of coffee in hand to let my chickens out for the day. I still had my pajamas on and a long robe, as it was pretty crisp outside. I enjoy watching my chickens, and talking to them, so I pulled up a chair and stayed for a visit. My girls had just come into laying, and were fairly young at that point, about five months. It's not uncommon for anyone of my girls to jump up in my lap for a good petting, and some personalized attention.

I had thrown some scratch grains out, sat and drank my coffee watching as they ate. One pullet discovered how to get under my long robe, and at first I was nervous she was going to peck my bare legs, but her feathers were so soft on my calves that I allowed her to stay. She would go under my robe, then she would exit, and that process repeated over and over for about five minutes, until she went under my robe and stayed.

I had no clue what she was doing, but chickens are inquisitive by nature so I didn't think much of it. She stayed under my robe for about 10 minutes total, and then abruptly left and didn't return. Then all the sudden, about six of my girls came up to my feet, and started making a fess over something on the ground. I bent over to see what they were looking at, and low and behold there was a freshly laid egg under my robe. Thank goodness the other girls had alerted me, otherwise I may have stepped on the egg and broke it when I got up.

I couldn't believe it! I felt so honored that my little hen felt like I was trust worthy enough that she laid an egg under my robe. Usually they are very secretive about where they lay their eggs. It may sound silly, but that made my whole entire day brighter, and certainly brought a huge smile to my face. It was really exciting for me when the girls started laying their eggs. I had babied them from day old chicks, and waited patiently for those eggs to start coming. Now... I have more little pullets that have also come into lay recently, and it's still thrilling each time a pullet starts laying


posted on Jul, 9 2007 @ 03:10 AM
Week eight of Basic.

The phone rang as I slumped down against the wall, exhausted. My body was sore, so sore. I was close to breaking, then. I had my buddies, and they helped. I had propped myself up with chemicals, half a bottle of Tussin a day, and all manner of everything. Sudafeds, Red Bull, Hycodan. Whatever got me through each day, coughing up huge amounts of phlegm because I had pneumonia and I refused to back down. Over the past few weeks, I had been thinking about her. More than that, I thought about telling her I had loved her for so long…in fact, that’s an understatement. I fantasized, was compelled to tell her by some superhuman urge. Hell, in my personal box, I had two things taped to the inside lid: a copy of the lyrics to A Smaller God by Darling Violetta, and a picture of her. Between it and the books people sent me, I stayed sane. Hooray for unrequited love.

The phone rang.

I sighed. It wasn’t the first time I had tried calling since she fell off the landscape before I left home. It was, however, my first attempt to call her from base. It continued to ring. I closed my eyes, put my head back. PT and inspection in the morning. Beautiful view of the city as I lay in bed to look forwards to that night. It was a rare thing for her to pick up.



“Jess?” I managed to rasp, a little incredulous. Her voice gave me more strength than she could fathom.

“Yeah, who is it?”


Dumbass. Remembered I had a first name just in time.

“Oh, hi.”

“Err, Chris, where are you calling me from?”

Between your voice, knowing you’re alright and better yet, almost sounding happy to hear from me, Cloud Nine.

“CFB St. Jean, Quebec.”


“Basic, I joined the military. Infantry.”

It was a point of pride, being an infantryman. I was immensely proud of it, and despite being sick as death, I still gave 110% every day. I might have complained some, but everyone knew I loved being there. I still won’t give it up for the world.

“Oh, wow. Wow. When did this happen?”

“Awhile ago. How are you?”

I love you, my mind screamed.


“Where have you been? I haven’t heard shot or shell from you in months.”


“I’ve…I’ve been around. Rough times. I got a job, got in the band…”


You’re the only person who has the pull to make me consider quitting the military.


“Never knew you played.”

Not my parents.

“So, how are you finding it?”

“It’s hard, but it’s rewarding. I enjoy it.”

Not my friends.

“Really? Okay, I guess. Why did you join?”

“Wanted to become a better person. And this is it, Jess. This is making me better day by day. I can’t explain it to you, I can’t.”


“Why’s that?”

“I can’t put it in words, and my rangemaster told me not to try. He’s right- if you’re not in, you won’t get it.”

Only you.

“Sounds like you’ve been brainwashed, Chris.”

“Not really. I’m not gonna try, dea…Jess.”

A pause. The big splitting point.

“Listen, Chris. I’ll be up there Thursday, doing a show downtown. Think you can come see me?”

Oh my holy God. How am I supposed to respond? Sorry dearest, but I’m stuck in barracks all week, even though I'd kill twenty men to see you? Sorry, I miss you more than anything but I can’t visit?

“I’m stuck in barracks every weekday. Will you be around during the weekend?”

Come on…

“No. Listen Chris, I gotta go. Talk to you later?”

“Yeah, for sure. Miss you, night.”

#, how’d that slip out?

“Missed you too, night.”


Love you, Jess.


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