Looking back I often wonder how my brain still functions.

I first smoked pot at a birthday party in middle school. , like many people their first time, I didn’t actually get high, so I faked it. Sitting in the back of a van at a drive-in movie, staring out at the big screen, pretending to be high like I had seen in the movies.

Just a couple short years later I had a huge tolerance and was trying out some different things.

I worked more than a few shifts at Burger King on heavy doses of Beavis and Butthead and Black Pyramid acid. Holy….shit. I was the drive-through order taker and I remember seeing the speaker melting off the wall as an order was being given to me. I was laughing hysterically and drooling but my boss wouldn’t fire me because he got his weed from me. I was always able to get through my shifts uninjured, which annoyed me and my friends.

During the last year that I attended high school, I put myself into sort of a last chance program called OJT (on the job training).

At 17 years old I was given a badge, a taser, and a billy club and became one of three security guards at Liberty State Bank.

During the first half of my shift, I sorted mail in the mailroom in the basement, then I would go upstairs and direct traffic in the parking lot if it was busy or sit in the guard shack and smoke cigarettes and weed and sell mushrooms and weed. I could monitor all radio traffic so I knew they never suspected a thing.

I lost that job when they found out I dropped out of school. They even offered to buy me a computer so I could get my diploma online. I said no.

It’s Monday morning. Last night I got my pass to take the fitness test, the last step in the process of being officially okayed for boot camp.

Unfortunately, on Saturday night I was injured while playing pickle ball.

I wasn’t even overdoing it. I actually thought somebody had hit me in the leg, but when I looked behind me, nobody was there, and I limped away.

When I got back to the unit, I asked the CO for a bag of ice. He asked why and I told him. And then he “pushed the button”, as we call it. Dee doo dee doo dee doo! People came running from every direction. And then came the wheel chair. Fuck! How embarrassing.

They wheeled me about ¼ mile to Health Services where they stood me up, felt my leg, and told me to walk back to the unit, on my bad leg. Fuck!

I iced it down, slept, then took a hot shower in the morning. I was in some pain, had a little trouble walking but I was pretty sure I could make it through the test.

And I did.

Here’s what I had to do: 20 pushups, 20 crunches, run a mile, do about 10 minutes of the tape, to show you’d been practicing, and some light weight lifting. Eight months ago, I would have dropped dead from that much physical activity. But I passed and I felt pretty good. Really good.

Eleven days until boot camp. I am no longer nervous. Only excited. Excited to change my life.

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