Today’s guest post is a bit of fiction-loosely-based-on-real-events from RG reader John Curry. It may not be appropriate for all ages — jb
“Motherf…” Joe muttered when the fan blade hit his head as he stumbled to his bedroom in the attic he and his dad rented from their boss. “The one thing from home I didn’t miss when I was in that GD sandbox.” He sat down on his bed and chugged a Nalgene of water so he wouldn’t be hungover in the morning. Joe’s dad had joked with him before he left the house earlier that night. “Don’t be trying to puss out of work tomorrow morning because your head hurts. I’ve seen you leave at the ass crack of dawn Saturday morning to try and fix some chick’s car playing Captain Save-A-Hoe.” Joe could work harder hungover than most men could work sober. That hard work led him from side jobs and summer work to help with bills when he was a teenager — to Afghanistan after he graduated and didn’t really have a better plan.
When he got his DD214, he still didn’t really have a plan. Going back to work fixing tractors for his dad’s boss, a man he always knew as “Mr. Owen”, seemed like the most reasonable thing. Joe’s uncle had researched their family history; they’d been farming around here since white people had found the land, but a family weakness for the bottle had taken them from owning land to working on other people’s land generations before Joe was swimming in his dad’s nutsack. “A man ain’t ever worth a damn unless he’s got a piece of land to call his own,” Dad always used to say, in between labored breaths. Decades of cowboy killers and 7018 fumes had made his lungs work about as well as the liquor made his liver work.