Thursday, March 09, 2006

Dredging up Doubt

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Last night Kalohe and I watched
Jarhead. The movie was well done. I really want to read the book that Anthony Swafford wrote (yes i know that i'm lame because I haven't read it yet). I heard him speak a few years back shortly after I got out of high school.

Anyway, watching the movie brought back some very unpleasant memories from Clark's deployment. THe portrayal of all the wives and girlfriends back home was sickening. Every single one of the (except for the very pregnant wife of one marine) was shown as a Barracks bunny or other disgusting creature. This post isn't going to turn into a drawn-out rant about Jody's whores, I don't have the time or energy for that full-blown discussion. Besides, the Service Girls and I already tackled this issue a number of times.

But watching Jarhead did remind me of all the bullshit that went on during Clark's deployment. He and I never had issues while he was gone (once he got home was a different story...but that isn't the point right now.) but I did field many questions from other guys in his platoon regarding the faithfulness of their significant other. It's a very uncomfortable position to have to confirm to a guy in a warzone that yes, his wife/gf/etc is indeed cheating on him.

The scenes involving the Jody's whores sparked a discussion between Kalohe and myself. There is one scene where the main characters are looking at the Wall of Shame where all the cheating wives/girlfriends's pictures are displayed. I made a comment about the whole situation being fucked up. Kalohe then commented, "Well, that's just how it is."

I said nothing but I'm sure my body tensed up with all the things i wasn't saying. Kalohe then added, "well, to some extent I guess."

Me: "Yeah, to some extent that's how things are. But it's not a majority."
Kalohe: Girl, that's the way of the world. Females back home cheat.
Me: You might wanna rephrase that. Not all girls back home cheat. Some do, and unfortunately they make the rest of us look bad.
Kalohe: Yeah well a lot of them do. And even if they aren't, that's all the guy is gonna think about.
me: That's his choice, of course. But there are doubts on both sides, that's part of every relationship.
Kalohe: But it's worse for the guy. He's a warzone and he's got people telling him that his girl is cheating.
Me: Kalohe, you're trying to tell me that it's the girl's fault that people tell her soldier (or marine as this case happened to be) that she is cheating...whether she is or not? That doesn't even make sense. It's not easy for either person. But it's still up to the individual to decide whether to believe the rumors or to believe their significant other.
Kalohe: See that's why you can't have a wife or girlfriend if you're going to be in the military.
Me: WHAT?? Of course you can. It's tough, yes...but no relationship is easy. But yes, you can have a relationship...and they can even last through a deployment.
Kalohe: No you can't Audrey, it's too hard. The guy has enough to worry about without spending all his time worrying about what's going on back home.
Me: Don't try to tell me it's too hard. I know how hard it is. But don't tell me it can't work. It can and it does. And for those guys who have a committed relationship, their deployment is actually easier to deal with because they know that they have support from home.
Kalohe: Audrey, I know you were faithful and I know that you experience is where this is coming from; but it's too hard.
Me: Kalohe, yes, I was faithful. So were most of the girls I knew...we waited and supported and lived through our own hell. But in the end, it's worth it. That's what matters most. Nothing is perfect, and no relationship is without it's problems or doubts...but you have to be willing to work through it and have faith...tempered with reality but faith all the same.
Kalohe: I know that I couldn't have a girlfriend or wife if I was in the wouldn't work. I couldn't live with the doubt.
Me: That is your choice. But it's not always as bad as the movies portray it.

We pretty much got silent after that...the whole thing fucked with my head. Kalohe has been talking a lot lately about joining the military. But my spin out was only partially about was so much deeper than that. So many events flashed through my mind...things I hadn't thought about in years...the whores in Clark's unit...the gossip of the FRG...putting my hand into a brick calls from half a world away asking for confirmation or denial regarding both was a long night.

Thanks TG for listening...I had quite a bit of venting to do. It breaks my heart that Kalohe has had such negative experiences in the past...he's never not had his trust broken...that's what happens when you pick up gutter rats. He's slowly learning that we aren't all like that. Man, do I know how to pick them or what??