Loneliness is like being stuck in a tumble dryer with razor blades cutting your soul, leaving you to die. It's a hell and a horror and it's the source of all of mankind's atrocities. I was bleeding badly when I joined up: I hadn't heard my name in months. No one was speaking to me anymore, I being of washed hands. The night attacks were getting worse. During the day I could stay the tumbling of the entombing dryer as I gripped the handle in opposing force. But when the need for sleep came, I had to let go...
So I was scared - really scared - when I joined up. There were some other losers there, I could spot them easy, sort of like how gay people can spot one another I suppose. The razor blades had made them killers before their time and I could see in their eyes they just had to let somebody know. Problem was, I was the only person there listening. The army was just happy we came to kill. They didn't much care why. I did, I still wanted to live.
I was actually glad to hear my name even if it was called out in anger and mere utility. I could not recollect the last time I'd heard it from a person who volunteered time with me. So I got to thinking maybe I shouldn't be taking up anyone's time after all. I didn't believe the slick and clever ads but they spoke of an army life and maybe that's better than no life at all. At least, that's what I told myself.
Whole time I was being processed I felt a knife in my gut I couldn't pull out. What would they do if I fell to the floor from the pain? Humanity is not an army requirement, I realized. But I made it through and blindly hoped I was at long last saved from the razor blades. Everyone else in the barracks was in the same boat I was in. You could smell the fear and silent prayers reeking from every bunk. I know I had questions but I wondered what misgivings they had. I certainly didn't think they joined to escape the cutting blades as I had. None were more foolish with their life than I.
It was true the blades went away (though I was still stuck in the dryer, never to be safe) but that initial knife in my gut only got worse. Was anyone else feeling it? Did I need the army the most? Did they even understand the headlines?
Every war started in the 21st century had been renamed to be part of the Great Oil Wars, the powers that be no longer able to contain the truth. There had been a time when explaining sons and daughters dying for oil and profits would have sparked such outrage the military as we know it would have been dissolved. But over time the idea of serving corporate masters melded into the idea of serving our country. After all, we reasoned, what are we without our corporate health? We're fighting for our jobs now, not just to have a mate.
We'd just been deployed after training, my unit stuck in this long, strange building crammed in between railroad tracks and warehouses. None of it made any sense to me but our sergeant was a particularly nasty piece of work and sniffed me right out as a thinker - or as he put it: a troublemaker. Turns out he was going to be so very right.
The rule for new recruits was we had to use our personal cars for transportation as the army had contracted with a gasoline company to ensure their profits by forcing stupid helpless recruits into buying their product with money deducted from their paychecks. To anyone who listened the message of the day was loud and clear: It's all about who's the best predator. Most people are pretenders - to make their parents happy, I suppose - and so a deaf ear was turned to the vile message of the latest ways for mankind.
But not by our sergeant. He heard it loud and clear, proud he was not to be so foolish to believe the big lie of alleged noble purposes. This gave him great confidence and that confidence stuck in my loser's craw. I thought to myself: even he's doing better than I am. And I know he's a scumbucket royale. Our sergeant’s evil ways did not seem to bother the others as much as it did me. I guess because they had lives and wives outside the army, not needing to make it work like I did. So like a drowning man one night I was forced awake by my wrestling doubts, climbing my way to fresh air.
Still most people's idea of military life
I scratched at the ancient, neglected blinds of the depressing industrial window as my soul ached to join one of the passing trains to what had to be freedom. I remember my lungs gasping for air like a drowning victim just taken from the water. That's when I saw them coming like a panzer division storming in in an unstoppable blitzkrieg. Only these weren't tanks but tow trucks one after another, licking their chops like the proverbial fox in a henhouse. We sucker recruits were about to be taught a lesson.
As a private enterpriser himself, our beloved sergeant had contracted with the tow company to take away each and every one of our vehicles. Knowing we could not do without them we'd have to pay a hefty fine to get them back or face having our car put up for sale. The sergeant got a kickback for each towing and a bonus if the soldier could not pay the fine and thereby lost his car. Clearly we’re dealing with a man who had no illusions of the world.
But he hadn't counted on my nightly pain. Barely able to speak with the shock and outrage I was seeing I started making loud yelping noises and pointing out the window. (It still bothers me I could not say actual words). Luckily I was noisy enough to wake up everyone else and we all rushed out to scare away the tow truck drivers because they knew we meant to take their lives. When word got out of the incident, the colonel exploded in fury at this jeopardy to his looming pension.
What? You can't arrest me! HAHAHA!
The sergeant was taken away in a big show of hypocritical undertaking and our lieutenant had been in on it as well. Eventually everything settled back down as the waves I'd began sorted themselves out. To avoid further black eyes - while also avoiding a change in message - the army instituted rules for legitimate towing of recruits' cars. This gave the predatory sergeants an out if they got caught so their methods could be "put up for review" and give the brass a veneer of justice. That's all anybody wants nowadays anyway: a veneer.
I got kicked out for failing psychological evaluations ordered after my "unseemly nighttime outburst". You gotta hand it to them military higher ups, they sure can twist a lie! When I first got out I told everyone I met what a big scam the army is, thinking I'd enlighten the world. At first they'd listen but soon reaction turned on me, hearing words like "traitor" and "loser" muttered in bitter reply. Seems everyone's a follower of the profit motive, what some call the sign of the beast.
So it's back to the razor blades for me, doomed all the more to isolation as I carry a truth I cannot share. But you don't fool me like you once did driving your fancy cars to places of fine dining and barefoot servants. The whole thing is a big fucking scam you just don't want to admit. There is no love in that, and without love there is no truth - and without truth there is no future.
So that's what we're fighting for...