It wasn’t much of anything. Just words really. I don’t know if I call them day dreams, but words. Frustration and impatience maybe. But words none-the-less. Things I wanted to do, places I wanted to go, people I wanted to meet.
You could say flying was in my blood. I was told early on, after I confronted “my parents” about my origins, that I came from a pilot and a stewardess (as they were known back then).
Theirs was a passionate and loving, but flawed love affair. One that ended in tragedy and me.
Maybe that’s why I always wanted to fly, had feelings of misplacement and longed to travel the world over. To find me out there or find them.
The Challenger had just exploded, January 28, 1986, as we walked from one campus building to another. My second life tragedy.
The Air Force was the fallout of this tragedy. One that was spurred on via my imagination in my creative writing class. After all, novelist was a hard living, especially when no life had been lived beyond a three square mile of a dry town and a three building college campus.
But it was just words. Nothing more. For a year, I spoke of this desire to travel, to see the world. I flirted with aircraft that went fast and looked sleek.
The Air Force was a way out, a stepping stone to my destiny: a writer.
Plans were made and forgotten. After all, they were just words. My words, not to be taken seriously; nothing I said should ever be taken seriously.
It was the one year anniversary of the Challenger explosion. Sitting in class was not ideal. Words spoken long ago were mostly forgotten as we drove to a local doughnut shop.
It was the ice on the return to campus that would quickly bring back the words of long ago.
In the aftermath of the accident, I found myself explaining to my father that I had not left campus in order to ditch class, but rather inquire about going into the Air Force.
December 7, 1987 was “a day that would live in infamy” as I stepped off a plane in San Antonio, Texas. Dark, cold, and very unsure as I entered United States Air Force.
Funny thing about words ignored, they usually bring about realities that should have been.