Three days left.
Watch, eight hours, quantity one. Spent most of my time watching more commercial television than I have in the last six months and reading the first third of Heinlein's 'Friday.' The television reminds me how glad I am that I do not actually own a television, the book reminds me that even Heinlein had his bad days.
Outside, I am watching dawn break over San Diego bay and wondering where I am going to be in seventy-two hours. With what has been happening in Yemen, Israel and Palestine I am not too sure that volunteering to go to the Persian Gulf was such a good idea after all. When Orgy went two weeks ago at least there weren't a few random and a few well placed bombs exploding all over the place. Smoking cigarettes and staring at the traffic already jammed full span across the Coronado Bridge does nothing to help. I am going, the image of the fat wad of paperwork sitting on my desk bearing the name that I use in the outside world flashes across consciousness. Plane tickets. No-Cost TAD orders. Lists of hazards to avoid. Useless packets concerning the five most helpful phrases to know in Farsi. More superfluous verbosity over travel hazards, the CIA Worldbook report on Bahrain and a few news stories culled from recent events. On the floor a seabag leans against my black garment bag like a green overstuffed sausage. My battered cranial, all 350 of my CD's, two dozen books to keep me occupied and a flak jacket I 'acquired' from supply a couple of years ago. Disks for mail to Rancid_Pickle so he can take care of Phase Maintenance for me while I'm away. Twenty or thirty rolls of decent black and white and color film, four boxes of banana Power Bars, a gas mask I 'acquired' that actually fits my face properly, spare connector parts for the birds. All this and more in a battered red footlocker secured by the padlock They gave me when I was in boot camp. Packed and ready to go just like summer camp.
False bravado two weeks ago made this seem like a good idea.
Doubt has no end when you're three days away from getting dropped into a potential war zone.