You’re back in the Marines, now! And time, Pt. 5

“Sergeant. Sergeant! Don’t you eat that. Marine!”“Aw, he not gon’ eat him,” said Johnson. “Not raw.”

“No bet.”

“Why’d you run?”

Run? Run! I did. From a water buffalo.

“I wasn’t in a position to shoot.”

“Crissy.”

Criss did. Shortly.

“Stood your ground. Wouldn’t have charged.”

“Ground,” this story was one I was tired of, knowing I’d retell it orally, not in digital form, “water. Water buffalo. Far more amphibious than I! Speaking of which.”

Why was I wet!

“Henry?”

“Bridge.”

It was half a palm tree. My tricolor Callie’s soft and pajama like, I rolled for no-one. Sergeant, maybe.

“Say it.”

“Uncle. Battalion CO! Sir.”

“Almost,” he replied, mournfully while lower ranks ate.

“Chicken!”

He broke drumsticks, and commanded heartily.

He commanded throughly, and twice. I remember, as I was wet again, and no stars were nearby.

“You’re still my boss.”

He took me down.

“Operators?”

“Through the ropes.” said one.

“Tyler?” Knee still applying pressure, just short of a break.

“Hanged by the neck until dead,” Offhanded, but committed.

“Noted.”

He did not, but non-verbally. The message was clear: no flag grades. And?

Mightily.

“Sergeant, hah,” said the Marine in the photograph, “stay at your rank. As long as you can. Then you’ll know it.”

Huh. I thought about that.

“I didn’t want NCO. So I ran the three mile backwards! Under time.”

Huh!

“Then, I conducted myself in a manner beyond reproach!”

Daniels, sick of being asked about “Black,” and with orders, from the Sergeant himself, walked a fast pace, PT shorts chest high.

“Nyaaaa!”

“Seagram? Seagram’ll pick up.”

I sipped.

“Give me that. And that. Dip?”

He took the can, too.

“Get dry. Daniels! Secured.”

Why?

“Henry!”

“Water.”

“Excuse me,” said a person more handsome than he cared to think of, “I’m WSQ.”

“Impressed.”

“Bladed penetration,” inudibly dim; distant.

“Hm. Light …reiterate.”

“Immolate.”

“Strong reiterate!”