Monday, April 04, 2005

Alas Poor Magazine, I Knew Him Well

Yesterday I took a little trip back to FOB Liberty or Victory or whatever they're calling it these days. We had a few meetings we had to go to. While I was there I had a little extra time and decided to take a trip to the PX. Ohhhhh real merchandise, real cashiers, real magazines. I was giddy with excitement. I could hardly contain myself. I ran from shelf to shelf looking at all the wears I could buy to heighten the enjoyment of my deployment. There it was, high on a dusty shelf alone and calling my name. The latest issue of Guitar Player magazine. The world stopped, lights shone on the shelf and all the soldiers stopped what they were doing and simultaneously joined in the Hallelujah Chorus. It brought a tear to my eye. It was the only copy. Quickly in a calculated manner I deftly snatched the much coveted copy and popped smoke (military jargon for got the heck out of there). In a rush of reality the solders stopped singing and the lights went back to normal as I found myself in the longest line I've ever been. No problem, I've got a magazine to pass the time. No, I better save it for a more opportune moment. As the line wore down I thought of all the happiness and joy this magazine was going to bring. The lessons I would learn and the reviews of gear and equipment that would make my guitar playing life so much more enjoyable. Finally only a few more people and it would be my turn.

"Attention shoppers, the Debit and Credit machine have gone down. We can only accept cash."

Shot down in my prime. The world went black, my chest tightened. All the soldiers laughed and pointed and chanted, "You'll shoot your eye out, You'll shoot your eye out." Wait, that was a movie, never mind that part. Dejected and down heartened I looked into my cashless wallet, my new wallet by the way because of the port-o-pody incident, and gently place the magazine on a display and walked out to continue my unfulfilled magazineless life.

Later that same day........

One of the guys I used to work with at Liberty needed to get his hair cut. I still had a few hours before our convoy left to go back to Mahmudiah so I tagged along. The PX is right next to the barber shop. There was still a chance at guitar reading bliss.

There it was, just as I'd left it. Jimi Hendrix looking right up at me in all his Rock and Roll glory. The magazine would be mine, oh yes, it would be mine. The line had doubled. The entire coalition force was in the PX that day. At least 300,000 people give or take 299,900. I waited in line, paid, put the magazine into my cargo pocket and stole my exit. Sitting in my old office I couldn't fight off the temptation to read the magazine. However, I really wanted to save it for when I was back at Mahmudiah. There just isn't anything to do but sleep, work and play guitar. I needed something to fill the time between. There was only one thing I could do. Put it on top of the filing cabinet and walk out of the room. I left it next to my Body armor and helmet so I wouldn't forget it.

Even later that day.....

Our convoy pulled back into Mahmudiah and we fueled the trucks back up before heading to the motor pool. We had gotten as many plates of food from the chow hall as possible for the guys at Mahmudiah. The food at Mahmudiah isn't bad, there just isn't much of it and there's even less variety. We walked in to some very hungry and grateful soldiers. We had gotten sandwiches and pizza, two things you can't get in FOB Mahmudiah. Not much was going on so I decided now was the time to read the magazine. I took off my gear, sat down at the computer and reached into my cargo pocket. Not there, Frantically I searched the other pocket and then the truck. Finally I realized what had happened. In my haste to get back with the convoy I'd left the magazine right on top of the filing cabinet in Liberty. I guess it just wasn't meant to be.

Alas poor magazine, I knew him well.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

In regards to guitar magazines maybe the motto should be "eat, drink and be merry". . .You could always pray for a miracle: call your old office and have them ship it down with your always so regular mail! I indeed enjoy your perspective on things. zm

9:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How much longer are you "scheduled" to be at your current location? Have they sent you more mail since the last hold up? CnH

2:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just returned from our trip. The kids were good and the weather was great. The choirs did very well in their competition. After being on a bus for 23 hours straight with high school students, I came home, showered, and read your blog. Now I feel like I am home. I missed being able to keep up with you while we were away.
KSW

3:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just returned from our trip. The kids were good and the weather was great. The choirs did very well in their competition. After being on a bus for 23 hours straight with high school students, I came home, showered, and read your blog. Now I feel like I am home. I missed being able to keep up with you while we were away.
KSW

3:47 PM  
Anonymous Fred schoeneman said...

if you've got a decent Internet connection, try finding your magazine at zinio.com

1:26 PM  

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