I’ve devised a new bribe to get myself to exercise. If I run on my treadmill, I can watch music videos and interviews. I just need to go a bit slower to prevent vertigo. I don’t have a forgiving space to land in if I go flying off the back. I have a credenza full of quilting supplies. (It would probably only hurt my ego.) I have an oddly shaped room over a stairwell, (which is the only reason I don’t feel guilty about running in my apartment.) Nobody uses that stairwell, anyway. My near-neighbors are funny to me. I’ve seen most of them working out in the gym, at the pool, on the bike trails, etc., but they all use the elevators religiously.
I’m going to go ahead and apologize in advance for the length of this post. I’ve been living in my head all weekend because my niece is visiting. She’s the niece that’s older than me and used to beat me up, (because isn’t that fucking hilarious. 🙄) She asked me earlier why I never seem to relax. In my head, Michelle Obama and Lisa Bloom both looked at me and mouthed, “Don’t answer.” So I’m bugging you instead. Nope. They didn’t say, “Don’t blog.” 🙃
Mick Fleetwood looks a lot like my dad did now, which is an awful lot like Santa Claus. Cool.
Oh yeah, I promised to tell my cocaine story. In the Army, when you get promoted to SGT, you have to dump all your friends who aren’t SGT’s. When I got promoted, the woman who dropped me as a friend when she got promoted became my mentor while I made the transition. I was delighted to be able to hang out with her again. She’s probably in the top five coolest people I’ve ever met. Anyway, the night of my promotion, she invited me to hang out. I accepted.
I didn’t even realize the NCO’s (non-commissioned officers) were coming together to celebrate my promotion until they brought out the cake. It was the point where my being upset over losing my few friends became, “Oh wow, I’m an NCO now.” It felt pretty good to have them acknowledge my achievement. The only thing I’d ever actually said to most them before was, “Yes, SGT.” Soon, bottles of beer were passed around, (and I passed because I don’t drink.) No problem, no pressure, yay. We listened to music, and they shared stories while I sat listening in awe.
After a while, the SSG (who totally looked like an Ewok, and made me dig a 6′ x 6′ x 6′ hole for pointing it out,) started passing around a picture he took off the wall with lines of cocaine on it. They passed it around to everyone. Everything seemed to be in slow motion to me, as my brain sorted through what was going on. By the time the picture came to me, I knew the wisest choice was to follow suit. In hindsight, I think it was a test. But I’m not sure. Anyway, my ignorant ass took the rolled up dollar bill with shaking hands, arranged a neat line with the razor, and blew it all off the picture. Sigh.
There was a pause. To me, it was excruciatingly long, but it probably wasn’t in reality. Then my mentor punched me in the shoulder while they all laughed weirdly. (Look. If you’re not supposed to blow it, then why the fuck do they call it blow? Which is more logical? Snorting it up your nose? Or following the obvious instructions in the nickname? I still haven’t managed to live it down…) I just wish more care was taken in naming things, that’s all. So that pretty much ended the party, but the cake was delish.
The reason I knew I had to go along was this: These men and women were the backbones of my unit. They literally ran it from day to day and kept us prepared to deploy to war with 72 hours notice at all times. Accusing them of using an illicit drug, (a career ending mistake), wasn’t an option. Fortunately, I was fresh out of leadership training and was able to recognize it immediately. The unwritten rules. Had I refused to go along, I would have separated myself from the NCO’s, and become a pariah. When I was a private, my instinct would have been to refuse and report.
If it was a test, I passed, (but barely.) I’ve never actually ingested cocaine. That’s the only time anyone ever offered me any. Oh no, wait. When I visited the aquarium in the inner harbor in Baltimore, some random guy waved at me to step outside, so I did. Then he asked me if I wanted some crack. I didn’t understand the question, so he walked away. Now I know what crack is, so that’s my only other experience with it. I’m a weed only woman. I’ll vape cannabis, but no on the rest. (And only in states where it’s legal, because the consequences are out of the question, and a cop could stare a confession out of me in five minutes. Okay, less.)