Wolves and Sheep

Right after high school I joined the Marines and was swiftly whisked away to boot camp and combat training and all the other neccessary military training modules a naive, clueless 18 year old kid is required to endure. I joined prior to the attacks of September 11 but was still in training when all that madness occured. It's not hard for me to imagine now that I was quite unsure of my decisions leading up to that point. I had a hard time fitting in. I was quiet, I read a lot and I wrote poems to the jeering of my brothers in arms. It was a hard transition. I had plenty of friends growing up, played sports and actively participated in high school. I couldn't understand why I was having such a hard time adapting to this new place. No one liked me, that wasn't hard to tell. I was usually the butt of jokes and generally the guy the other guys picked on when they felt the urge to give someone a hard time. I brushed it off and kept to myself and further distanced myself from most people. Unfortunately that only served to get the other guys on me harder. I felt homesick. For the first time in my life I felt that home was better than where I was now and I missed it. I wanted to be back on the poor east side of Indianapolis, in a cramped house with an unfinished room edition connectd to the back. The harassment got pretty bad. I wanted to see these guys hurt, I wanted to hurt them myself and I wanted to quit feeling this way.

One day a sergeant of mine took me aside and explained very frankly that I was a sheep and the other guys were wolves, and the wolves always attack the sheep. He told me flat out, "don't be a sheep".

Something clicked. A button I didn't know I possesed flipped on. A whole new control board presented itself to me and was very suddenly aware, I was a damned sheep. I changed. Drastically and suddenly and inexplicably I changed. A fire light in my eyes and I walked out of the office and back to the shop where all the guys were hanging out at. One guy in particular, James we'll call him, he was an only child and very spoiled and gave me the hardest time out of most of the guys. He made a offhand remark about me as I walked back into the shop. So I tackled him. Wrestled him to the ground and proceeded to put him in a head lock until he was ready to tap out or pass out, whatever happened first, I didn't care. Before I could get him to cry uncle another guy, his roommate Mac, came up behind me and socked me hard in the back. I gave James one last squeeze to buy myself an extra second or two before he was back on his feet while I went after Mac. Mac and I wrestled for a minute, getting in the occassional shot before I got him off balance and basically tossed him across the room into the side of a large metal trash can, head first. This allowed me to regain my balance and go after my orginal enemy but I was stopped very suddenly by a wall of humanity coming at me from every direction, side to side and one guy leaping off a desk at me, they were all after me now and I couldnt escape. I hit the ground hard, arms and legs tangled up in a human rubics cube and the air slammed from my lungs. I fought and pushed and pulled and clawed fruitlessly at the concrete, hoping beyond hope for just another second of life before it was extinguished completely. I was doomed. I knew that this was it, I was dead. They would never let me get back up again, I was going to smashed to peices and violently dismembered and discarded into the very trashcan that now had a nice imprint of Mac's head. But it never happened. The light was returning and the weight was coming off of me, I could breath again, I could move my fingers and arms and feet again. Before I knew it I was on my feet, being dragged upward by a couple of the older guys. I looked around for the hate in their eyes, wondering who it was going to be, seeing who was going to finish me off but all I saw were smiles, then I began to hear it; laughter. I heard it before and it was always directed towards me, not this time. They were laughing at James and Mac for getting their asses whipped by me.

Without rhyme or reason or even the slightest amount of transistion I was suddenly one of them. I was a wolf. I had a den and a family to go with it. And for the next five years we lived and died beside eachother and I have never been the same since.