Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Alone in the Dark

Tony had left for his guard shift when we heard a thump and rattle from the roof. Grant, Warren and I were left, talking to Bishop, who doesn't play well with the SECFOR and other Marine ETTs at his own ridiculously expensive but bleak base.

"That's Tony," said Grant, rolling his eyes. "He's throwing used grenades." Ah. He meant spent Mk 19 brass. Grant and Bishop left in a few minutes. More brass pinged and bounced off the roof.

"We should return fire," I mused idly. The light bulb went off about the time Warren's eyes widened, and he dove for the box he's stashed the wrist rocket in. We're mortarmen. We work as a team, and we move fast. As he reached for the box, I dashed for the door, and across to our MWR. By the time Warren came in, I had fished out a handful of jawbreakers from the enormous bag of candy my buddy Shane sent.

Warren and Tony conducted a long-range duel for the next twenty minutes, Tony's accurate arm and height advantage versus Warren's greater velocity and flatter trajectory. I think it was a draw, with many glorious rounds exchanged, and both combatants winners. I was due to relieve Tony, and wandered up a few minutes early. He was sitting in the dark behind the Mk 19.

"You know what I do up here, to pass the time? I count."

I looked at him with pity. "I'm sorry, man."

"In forty-five minutes, I average twenty-four hundred. You should try it."

I don't think so.

But my Backwoods cigar absorbed twenty-one minutes tonight, as I self-consciously combat smoked, covering the cherry with the palm of my hand. I feel so silly, but I'm powerless to NOT do it like that. Feel free to laugh- no sniper's getting me.

8 comments:

Matt G said...

I completely understand.

Also the sleepiness that comes with darkness and boredom.

You said you can't read due to technical problems. What about listening to an audobook? Do you have a small CD player? Batteries? I've taken to broadcasting an audiobook through an FM transmitter to my patrol car radio so that I can deal with the boredom.

The Lily said...

He counts? I'm missing something. Stars?

jrshirley said...

Matt, No, the NVG just wasn't made to read novels in the dark. (I don't know why!) It might be a bad idea to not be able to hear while on guard.

No, Miz Lilly. Just numbers. And they think *I'm* the odd one of the bunch.

night lightning woman said...

Well, he proves counting sheep doesn't REALLY work, doesn't he?

I am ironically amused to find deficiencies in the Texas Walmart PX as well as yours--they had one pair of the glasses, but I think I've located some more at a neighboring Walmart. Home Depot and Lowes didn't have real wrap-arounds. They were ugly enough, though.

night lightning woman said...

Well, he proves counting sheep doesn't REALLY work, doesn't he?

I am ironically amused to find deficiencies in the Texas Walmart PX as well as yours--they had one pair of the glasses, but I think I've located some more at a neighboring Walmart. Home Depot and Lowes didn't have real wrap-arounds. They were ugly enough, though.

night lightning woman said...

oops. Sorry about that. Now you know why Matt just shakes his head and sighs.

The Lily said...

Oh! He must have an excellent attention span. I'd lose my place at about 80 and recount spans of ten.

HollyB said...

This is SOOO trivial compared to your situation I almost didn't post it, but I thought you might get a grin.
When my Tall Son was in his teens we played Vapmire, the Masquerade together. Our gaming group had a chance to do a "live" scenario once. We went out to a camping site in the country.
We played in teams and I was a BIG asset to my team. I shared with them the trick of lighting your smoke under your shirt or coat to hide the flame and cupping your cig to hide the cherry and waving the smoke away so as not to leave a "smoke sign". I gained a LOT of cred that night. Everybody wanted to be on Holly's team the next live game, b/c we kicked bu++.


HallowE09