Perhaps the most disquieting occurrence of my life was thrust upon me a few years back due to a pair of shoes. The last couple of fashion threads have put me to thinking (not always a good thing), and all of this thinking has brought forth suppressed memories that would have been better, for all concerned, to remain unremembered.
Nevertheless at this point in time the horrors are all about me and could it be that the least bad option is to surrender them up to my ST Unleashed! brothers and sisters, haters and lovers. My prayer is that this STUnleashed!-therapy will be the first step of many on a long journey of spiritual healing; and God willing, perhaps one day I may even move past these troubles and regain some semblance of sanity, or at least move that stubborn needle towards the so called good crazy.
So batten the hatches, and lock up your women and children because here we go. After retiring from the U.S. Marine Corps (infantry; AKA: grunt), I did a tour of duty in Afghanistan as a trigger puller for Blackwater. You may hate me or love me for that but my thinking at the time was that there was a job that needed to be done, and you sure as [expletive] were not going to do it. Following that gig I got a job with the DOD. The point of that is that as a DOD civilian I no longer wore boots and the uniform of this great nation, but civilian attire.
In hindsight it does seem like our black-Cadillacs (or in civilian speak – combat boots) never wore out. Actually that is not even close to being true. I blew out many pairs, and on more than one occasion had to duct tape them together (adding layer upon layer of duct tape with each dawn) until my unit got out of the field and I could purchase replacements. Anyway, they were relatively sturdy and withstood a [expletive] load of abuse.
Then practically overnight (talking about your culture shock!!!) I went from the Blackwater compound in Herat to an undisclosed location within the bowels of the DOD. Bought a decent pair of dress shoes and began the painful transition from operator to staff officer. In what could not have been more than a couple of months, I had worn out the rubber pad on the heel of my shoes to expose the wooden part of the heel to the deck (USMC speak for floor).
So now, with the rubber heel pad worn out, every where that little lamb (yours truly) walked a click-click-click was sure to follow. As the days went on I became aware of the strangest and most unusual phenomenon. Now with the click-click-click sound from my shoes, I began (for the first time in my life) to turn almost every male head in the building once I got within ear shot. Never too quick on the uptake, it took me a day or two to figure just what in the heck was happening. What was happening was these dudes heard what they thought was a chick approaching – you know – chix shoes. Once the light bulb went on inside of my brain housing group, I rushed out during my lunch break to buy a new pair of men’s dress shoes.
But before I was able to do that, the look of disappointment and yes even heartbreak in those all too many manly men was almost too much to bear. No telling how many hearts I broke in those 2-3 days. It is hard to live with the burden; but somehow, someway, I must soldier on.