[Sitting in the parking lot of the commissary.]
A round-bellied vet with shiny gold aviator bifocals walks to his black Mitsubishi station wagon next to me, toting a small white plastic bag. He looks sad for some reason. His wife is waiting in the passenger seat for him. I wonder if she is German. I wonder if they have lived here most of their lives.
A soldier in his early thirties with a black convertible waits as a bleached-blonde woman of the same age unloads his groceries into his car. He gets out his wallet to tip her, because the baggers work for tips only. It's one person helping another, even if he doesn't need the help.
For some reason, it seems like a lonely repetitive life, this life on the military post, even if you were with someone. The army life is predetermined and out of your control in so many ways. And much of it makes little sense, except that it is created to control a person, in all the ways possible.
I ran into my receptionist at the commissary. She was with two other people, one of them a nineteen year-old private, who's been in Germany for about 9-12 months. She works in our clinic. I noticed a bulge in her stomach and asked, "When did that happen?" She said, "October." As far as I know she is not with anyone. She was engaged but they broke it off a while back. Another story which I've seen over and over here. So young and unprepared and far away from home.
It's funny, when I run into friends on post I feel at home here. I feel loved. Yet I feel I'm one foot out the door. To continue this lifestyle is equivalent to standing still. Even though it's nice enough here, it would be choosing to be complacent. That's not me. I'm not meant to live the repetitive lifestyle.
So I'm looking forward to the next adventure leading me home, to be near my family and a relationship. It's not the straight and narrow path that I've taken, but I think my hopes and dreams are pretty universal-- to be loved and accepted and happy.