I’m doing a lot of thinking. I think I’m a genius with cartoon logic. A therapist referred to me as such. Rather, I referred to myself as such, and she laughed. She was a smart therapist, she worked with teenage gang members, and adults with ADHD. I asked her if there was a similarity between them (as a joke), and she gave a long, sincere, disturbing answer that I still think about all the time. I liked her a ton. She had the face and build of a friendly English bulldog. She did not think I should go back to school.
This was after a few sessions.
The topic of discussion was: what are you going to do with your life? And I said, “I’m going to move to California.” And she said, for what reason? And I said, “I met somebody on the internet.” Then, after seeing an expression on her face that prompted me to explain myself (and there was a weird story behind it that defied any sort of logical explanation, and in general, I hate explaining myself), I said instead, “Belay my last. I have no idea.”
“Belay my last” is Navy terminology for “I take that back”.
I was going to join the Navy before moving to California, is why I know that. Most people liked this idea. Most people were proud of me for making an Adult Decision.
I went to MEPs. That is a facility that processes recruits, future soldiers and sailors. I scored nearly perfect on the aptitude tests (the only thing I fucked up was spatial reasoning, something I’ve never been any good at). I got along with no one there. Then I talked to a doctor.
I did not disclose the depression to the doctor.
I did not disclose the anxiety to the doctor.
I did not disclose the self-mutilation to the doctor.
I did not disclose the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder to the doctor.
I did not disclose that I do not like being told what to do, ever, to the doctor.
We all took our clothes off and stood in a line. There was a very attractive girl with large breasts that I tried not to look at. The doctor saw all of my scars, I saw her moth-eyes flit up and down my body and hold a stare, just for a second, at the patterns on my upper thighs. And she looked at my face and looked away. And then she told us all to walk like ducks across the room. We did a piss test, and I prayed that the Adderall I had been taking (to concentrate on my Navy studying) wouldn’t show up. Because I would have gotten kicked out.
I could not salute. I couldn’t remember how to salute. The Petty Officer pulled me aside to try to help me with my salute. Everyone there was confused. I was confused. I would pull the salute from my head, stand at parade rest, and then forget how to salute instantly.
I would lie in my bed at night and salute to try to commit it to muscle memory.
I got very close to joining the Navy. A month from my ship date, I stopped showing up to meetings. The chief called and hurled petty insults at me and yelled at me, and I laughed at him. I laughed at him so hard tears formed in my eyes, and I hung up.
In my defense, I probably could have sued him for some of the things he said to me.
I’m just thinking today. I sent a lot of really insane emails to somebody I love and have a lot of respect for, which I regret doing. I quit my job. I have 200 dollars in my bank account. I’ve never felt more scared.