Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The holidays

I love the holidays. I love the lights, I love watching people smile when they see their family, and I love watching them catch up with everything that has happened in their lives. I won't get to see my family this year. I can't deal with airports. I guess that is alright, because most of them have spent all year trying to be there for me when I needed them, and honestly it was more than I could have hoped for.

People keep asking me what I want for Christmas, and I don't know what to say. I know I have more than I ever would have dreamed of asking for, but at the same time the things I need no one can give me. I hit the lowest point in my life this year, and hands came out of nowhere to catch me. I never expected so many people to care. Its humbling, and I'm beyond even gratitude, I'm awed at such unconditional love. But they can't rearrange the world so that the things that happened to me just go away. I have to live with that. I also have to live with the fact that I'm basically helpless right now. I can't take care of myself, but I'm still trying. I have the chance to do that because these wonderful people gave me the chance.

If everyone had the people in their life that I have, the world would be damn near perfect.

Monday, November 8, 2010

And Justice For All

Justice is an interesting concept when you think about it. We set up elaborate systems of laws to dispense justice, and half of the system is always working against the other half so that nothing ever really gets accomplished. To protect the innocent, and defend the guilty. There is no law anywhere that will ever make the things that happened to me, and many others, feel that we have gotten justice for the things that were done to us. I don't feel protected by the law. No one ever came to my rescue, so the part of me that believed in justice died somewhere in Iraq. I couldn't even drum enough faith in the system to bother reporting the things that happened after awhile. What is the point? I swore an oath to protect those laws. Now I resent them, but I always keep my word.

Now what really has me angry right now are the arbitrary rules, not laws, just silly rules that people invent that I'm expected to abide by. Stupid shit that civilians think are so goddamn important. I have really lost my knack for understanding civilians. They are so self-righteous, and walk around feeling entitled to enforce their stupidity on other people. I remember when I was in Iraq, the few times I was on base long enough to get a hot meal, they always had the news playing. Every freaking time I sat down to eat a meal I saw news about civilians protesting the war, religious nuts protesting at soldier's funerals, and endless gossiping about Anna Nicole Smith's death and who would inherit her fortune. I think that is where the disconnect started for me. I mean, really, firefights that feel like literally the world is ending, and the one chance I get to rest and I have to listen to CNN discuss Anna Nicole Smith.

Now I'm home, and have been for a while, and every time I walk down the street and see a homeless person holding a sign asking for money to buy weed while chatting on their I-phone I kind of want to scream. Seriously fucked up priorities going on here. I see no justice anywhere I look. I think its sort of a myth, like the boogey man. People just assume that when they need justice it will be there for them, that they are entitled to it, because they pay their taxes and never do anything to earn it. The same way criminals commit crimes and expect the laws to protect them because they say they were being discriminated against by the cops. Even a guy shoots up a freaking military base and the media immediately starts condemning the base for arresting a muslim. Criminals get released all the time, because justice gets sacrificed on the altar of "public outrage" (read- media).

So I know I'll never get justice for the things that happened to me. It seems to be contrary to human nature. The people who haunt my nightmares will never pay for what they did. I'm not really ok with that, but then again no one asked me what I wanted. I swore my oath and upheld my end of the bargain. It is really going to make me think twice about ever promising to do anything ever again. Then again, I've done more than most. Nothing awesome or heroic, but I kept my word and did the very best I could. I'll obey the law, but arbitrary, trite, and stupid rules or social contracts are sooo fucking out.