Vincent Safuto’s Weblog

Notes and observations

A Parris Island Memory: Early Morning Blues

It was really the weirdest thing.

I was listening to a Led Zeppelin album, and I remember that the song was “Ramble On,” and it sounded so sweet and beautiful to me.

Suddenly, through my closed eyelids, a flash of light erupted.

“Get out of the rack!” Sgt. William Bostic shouted, and I joined the rest of Platoon 2066 in erupting from the sweet embrace of sleep, slipping my feet into flip-flops and rushing to get “on line.”

My life had, in the flick of the lights, gone from memories of hanging out on the corner and listening to rock radio to the brutal routines of another morning in Marine Corps basic training. We were herded through morning urination at the giant communal urinal (no sit-down head calls allowed), showering, shaving (seven guys to a mirror and sink) and then, sooner that you might think, Bostic’s shout of “Clear the head!”

We’d line up to leave the head, and return to our spot in the squadbay. Piece by piece, we dressed ourselves, then began to clean up the barracks. I could still hear the melody in my head as I looked out the barracks window into the night. It was maybe 5 a.m., and still pitch dark outside, and I thought I could see the water and the ocean in the distance from the third-floor squadbay. For a second, I allowed myself a thought, then it was back to the brightly lit squadbay and its endless demands, as well as Bostic’s constant yelling that we were way too slow.

We’d tumble down the stairs and fall in for chow, our flashlights marking our path as we marched to the chow hall, lined up, went through the line and finally sat down to eat. I was tired, and the day had not even begun yet.

And that’s another Parris Island memory.

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August 5, 2014 - Posted by | Life lessons, Living in the modern age | , , ,

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