***THE OPINIONS IN THIS BLOG DO NOT REFLECT THE OPINIONS OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT, OR THE UNITED STATE MARINE CORPS.***
I live in Tacoma Washington. Judson, 22 years of living on this gravity well, spiraling around this nuclear fireball that somehow keeps us warm. Words of description: single, 'out to lunch', Malformed Public duty gland, and a deficiency in moral fiber precluding me from saving Universes. Possibly a dreamer (jury is still out). A bit rude, a bit crude, a bit into myself. Nothing of importance: Don't listen to me, because I am mostly out to lunch, and Mostly harmless.
My Photography Blog if you are interested:
Non-political man seeks to sell his vote for $450.00 (Obo).
Vote has been unused for the past two elections. A little dusty, but still as worthless as it was seventeen years ago when it was given to me.
I had placed that ad on Craigslist a year to the day of the election. Truthfully, I had forgotten all about it to be when I received a call from “Tony”. Tony said he was very interested in my vote and that he’d meet my price. I laughed and said I was just joking, that I was worked up that day over a news report the night before.
Tony, i found out, wasn’t a guy that joked around much.
After a half hour on the phone I told Tony that again, it was just a joke. Offered my apologies for the joke gone awry and hung up the phone.
Forgot all about it again, until five days later. That’s when I found an envelope with no return address in my mailbox.
I opened it and immediately sat down.
In the envelope, a check, for $450. I couldn’t believe that this guy was that serious about such a worthless vote. But I’d soon find out how serious he was.
I called the number Tony left me and left a message. He didn’t immediately call back.
In fact, months passed by. I never cashed the check. But something was happening … not with me, but with the country. It started in a small town in Florida, population of 300 or so - reporting that they were all paid a small sum of money to sell their vote.
It began to spread throughout the nation - Michigan was next, then Iowa, etc.
Facebook became a land of politicians throwing barbs at each other - they then began purchasing status updates, putting up virtual signs on accounts that would sell them their profile picture.
Forty-eight hours before the election, Tony appeared at my door. But he wasn’t alone. This time he brought presidential hopeful Matt Ryan.
“We gave you $450 dollars,” Tony said. “Matt is counting on you to do the right thing. We had an agreement.”
Tony got up, placed another check down on the table.
“Just in case you did something stupid to the first check,” he said.
What he said though kept ringing in my head …”Do the right thing, we had an agreement.” ….
“Tony,” I said … “We have a problem …”
“Yeah,” He replied.
“I kind of … made another deal …”
I pulled off my shirt, exposing a bomb. I clicked the green button.
If you are reading this, you have found my suicide note.
I was just trying to do the right thing.
Ask any Marine- any infantry Marine, and he’ll tell you; “mortar-men are good for two things- the mortar-men’s prone [aka rack-ops] and the game of spades.”
In 2009, we played this game so much I used to dream about it. I’d go up on post at 2200 or 0200 and spend the next four hours thinking about how I’d play a certain hand. I’d stand there, looking through the makeshift RPG proof hesco grate, staring at the corn fields. I’d see the all green world provided by our high speed night vision- praying for my next Boston. A Boston is what happens when you and your partner take every single book in a game of Spades. It causes so much pain and humiliation in the other team that they’re likely to never play together again. I’ve only been lucky enough to run it three times in the past four years.
But, the bigger dream- walking Little Willy.
In our game of Spades, the highest card is the big joker. Since you include both jokers in the deck, you take out the two of hearts and the two of diamonds. The two of Spades is a Spade, therefor it stands with its suit’s power and glory. This makes the weakest card in the game- the two of clubs; Little Willy.
The only way to make Little Willy walk is by holding it and leading the last hand of the game- if nobody else saved a club for that hand- Little Willy walks: 50 points.
And I know what you’re thinking- 50 points is no big deal, it’s not like you win the game.
But I’ve never thought about it like that. See, I’ve ran Bostons before- but Little Willy never walks.
And to me, it’s kind of a metaphor for life. Anyone can be successful in a firefight with a full combat load, but what really matters is what you can do with those last ten remaining rounds. Just like anyone can take a book with an Ace or a King-
But in life- you don’t need to be the Big Joker; all you need to be is a well played Two of Clubs.
Only a Marine can make a Game of Spades eloquent. and connect it to life. completely Agree.
Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (via liquidnight)
By Charles Warnke
Date a girl who doesn’t read. Find her in the weary squalor of a Midwestern bar. Find her in the smoke, drunken sweat, and varicolored light of an upscale nightclub. Wherever you find her, find her smiling. Make sure that it lingers when the people that are talking to her look away. Engage her with unsentimental trivialities. Use pick-up lines and laugh inwardly. Take her outside when the night overstays its welcome. Ignore the palpable weight of fatigue. Kiss her in the rain under the weak glow of a streetlamp because you’ve seen it in film. Remark at its lack of significance. Take her to your apartment. Dispatch with making love. Fuck her.
Let the anxious contract you’ve unwittingly written evolve slowly and uncomfortably into a relationship. Find shared interests and common ground like sushi, and folk music. Build an impenetrable bastion upon that ground. Make it sacred. Retreat into it every time the air gets stale, or the evenings get long. Talk about nothing of significance. Do little thinking. Let the months pass unnoticed. Ask her to move in. Let her decorate. Get into fights about inconsequential things like how the fucking shower curtain needs to be closed so that it doesn’t fucking collect mold. Let a year pass unnoticed. Begin to notice.
Figure that you should probably get married because you will have wasted a lot of time otherwise. Take her to dinner on the forty-fifth floor at a restaurant far beyond your means. Make sure there is a beautiful view of the city. Sheepishly ask a waiter to bring her a glass of champagne with a modest ring in it. When she notices, propose to her with all of the enthusiasm and sincerity you can muster. Do not be overly concerned if you feel your heart leap through a pane of sheet glass. For that matter, do not be overly concerned if you cannot feel it at all. If there is applause, let it stagnate. If she cries, smile as if you’ve never been happier. If she doesn’t, smile all the same.
Let the years pass unnoticed. Get a career, not a job. Buy a house. Have two striking children. Try to raise them well. Fail, frequently. Lapse into a bored indifference. Lapse into an indifferent sadness. Have a mid-life crisis. Grow old. Wonder at your lack of achievement. Feel sometimes contented, but mostly vacant and ethereal. Feel, during walks, as if you might never return, or as if you might blow away on the wind. Contract a terminal illness. Die, but only after you observe that the girl who didn’t read never made your heart oscillate with any significant passion, that no one will write the story of your lives, and that she will die, too, with only a mild and tempered regret that nothing ever came of her capacity to love.
Do those things, god damnit, because nothing sucks worse than a girl who reads. Do it, I say, because a life in purgatory is better than a life in hell. Do it, because a girl who reads possesses a vocabulary that can describe that amorphous discontent as a life unfulfilled—a vocabulary that parses the innate beauty of the world and makes it an accessible necessity instead of an alien wonder. A girl who reads lays claim to a vocabulary that distinguishes between the specious and soulless rhetoric of someone who cannot love her, and the inarticulate desperation of someone who loves her too much. A vocabulary, god damnit, that makes my vacuous sophistry a cheap trick.
Do it, because a girl who reads understands syntax. Literature has taught her that moments of tenderness come in sporadic but knowable intervals. A girl who reads knows that life is not planar; she knows, and rightly demands, that the ebb comes along with the flow of disappointment. A girl who has read up on her syntax senses the irregular pauses—the hesitation of breath—endemic to a lie. A girl who reads perceives the difference between a parenthetical moment of anger and the entrenched habits of someone whose bitter cynicism will run on, run on well past any point of reason, or purpose, run on far after she has packed a suitcase and said a reluctant goodbye and she has decided that I am an ellipsis and not a period and run on and run on. Syntax that knows the rhythm and cadence of a life well lived.
Date a girl who doesn’t read because the girl who reads knows the importance of plot. She can trace out the demarcations of a prologue and the sharp ridges of a climax. She feels them in her skin. The girl who reads will be patient with an intermission and expedite a denouement. But of all things, the girl who reads knows most the ineluctable significance of an end. She is comfortable with them. She has bid farewell to a thousand heroes with only a twinge of sadness.
Don’t date a girl who reads because girls who read are the storytellers. You with the Joyce, you with the Nabokov, you with the Woolf. You there in the library, on the platform of the metro, you in the corner of the café, you in the window of your room. You, who make my life so god damned difficult. The girl who reads has spun out the account of her life and it is bursting with meaning. She insists that her narratives are rich, her supporting cast colorful, and her typeface bold. You, the girl who reads, make me want to be everything that I am not. But I am weak and I will fail you, because you have dreamed, properly, of someone who is better than I am. You will not accept the life that I told of at the beginning of this piece. You will accept nothing less than passion, and perfection, and a life worthy of being storied. So out with you, girl who reads. Take the next southbound train and take your Hemingway with you. I hate you. I really, really, really hate you.
Relevant to life right now…