I was in Walmart with my mother when his call came through. Have you taken a phone call in any Walmart, ever? No reception! Here's me* trying to get outside before I lost his call:
Yup, that's me all right, though somewhat falsely represented: I wasn't jumping hurdles. I was clearing shopping karts and toddlers effortlessly though, all the while telling Brian, "keep talking, don't waste our minutes!"
If I'd have known I had more than 4 minutes, I might not have acted such the spaz.
It was great to have a real conversation with him. Yeah, yeah, he knows all about my life, so I quizzed him about his. He opened up once I began interrogating, and I managed to learn a lot about his new life, in a short time. It may all be so inconsequential, but it's all I got!
Sunday was his first pass. He was in heaven, drinking a Mountain Dew. He otherwise drinks only water there.
At 4:30 in the morning, they are awakened by drill sargeants screaming "TOES ON THE LINE!!" and they have mere seconds to get up and their toes on the line. How rude.
He has physical training immediately after. He wears shorts and a t-shirt. Good, he won't get overheated.
After PT, he has 15 minutes to shower, shave, dress, and make his bed dime-bouncing tight. Brian makes his bed? I can hardly wrap my mind around it.
I only choked up once:
"Sundays." He said it like a complete sentence, before he went on.
"I'm living with 170 pissed-off guys. Everyone wants to be better than everyone else, everyone's a prick. Nothing but testosterone, 6 days a week," he said.
"Sundays is phone day. Mom, on Sundays, it's 170 guys crying."
My breath catches in my throat as I hear this, but I am determined to move on. We talk about it. Yes. They cry, we cry, but it's so much better after talking, hearing one another's voices. Some of those men have wives and children, don't they?
Yes. And some of these "men" are still babies. One of his roommates is 17 years old. "I'm just a kid, but this kid is REALLY a kid," he tells me and says, "I can't imagine being here at 17." We talk about that for a few minutes. 17 vs. 20.
"Am I writing too much?" I asked him. A resounding NO, I do not write too much. There can not be enough mail, they LOVE the mail. Their drill sargents randomly withheld their mail for 3 days last week, and they all found it devastating. Mail, mail, send mail, love the mail, is the message I get.
And some other stuff about clothes, food, friends, families; we covered a lot of territory, and we got in lots of I love you's. For some reason, I don't think he cried after he hung up.
Bye now; gotta go write a letter.
*I lied. That's not really me. It's Tiara, from www.beavertontrackclub.org. I have absolutely no permission to use this photo, and beg Tiara's forgiveness if she finds her photo here.