Sometimes I remember things as if it didn’t even happen. It’s strange. They make me scared to think about. I don’t know what to think half the time. I remember the whiskey lockers. They were just closets in the squad bays on Parris Island. I remember being told they don’t hit or abuse recruits. I was told it through boot camp and I was told it throughout my career in the Marines. I remember people talking about how great it was now how watered down it is compared to what used to happen.
I also remember something I can’t quite remember. It’s strange. It is vague but when I try to think about it I get a sinking feeling in my gut. I get scared. I remember being dragged into the whiskey locker. I though I was hit, I thought I was punched. I thought I was beat to the ground. I remember boots kicking me in the gut in the side and in the head. I remember my eyes ere closed and I was holding myself up just an inch or so from the ground with my toes and arms in a push-up position just having to hold myself there as I was kicked.
What’s wrong Thayer? Hu? What’s wrong? Not going to make it? That’s what I hear in that scratchy gruff voice. It wasn’t screaming like it usually was, it was lower. I could hear his real voice in there not the growl he ordered the recruits around with. I remember his face smiling with each kick as I was threatened and told not to let myself touch the ground. I remember being told when I was pushing my body up too high. I remember the kicks when I collapsed on the floor. It doesn’t sound right. It doesn’t even seem real most of the time. It’s confusing for me. I’m not feeling good writing this. I feel scared and anxious. The floor smelled like Aqua velvet. I remember the yellow paint container open.
He would remind me a few times a week. If I was on the ground doing push-ups, or at the rifle range in the prone position firing my rifle. He would give me a quick light kick to the stomach or ribs and smile at me.
I remember thinking nobody could hear or see us in the whiskey locker. There was paint on the ground. I was painting campaign covers. It’s not just that. It’s all kinds of stuff. It all gets to me. You can’t talk about that. You are called weak and pathetic. Your personhood is diminished to shit, a bag of ass. All the brainwashed Marines have some little redundant mindless insult to come at you with to dismiss you and shut you up. Sometimes I can’t tell what was real. Other things haunt me and I just can’t seem to grasp it all. Some people tell me I have PTSD. I don’t know what to think. I never saw combat. And does it matter if it’s real? It’s not like I’m stuck in a whiskey locker my entire life, but sometimes it is. Like in a car, or confined to a room, maybe. I don’t know what to think of any of it. I only know that I hate the fucking Marine Corps.