I am alone, with my thoughts, with myself, with all that separates me from everyone else. Do you want my thoughts, would you like to hear my voice that screams out in my mind. Because I do not, I wish for silence, for peace, for the waiting arms of someone that can bridge the gaps in my existence. The noise is too much as I wonder around my room, the buildings and the camps. I drink not to dull the pain of the body but rather to temper the noise of the soul. My mind is folded and tucked under the warmth of a blanket provided by the scotch in the steel camp mug. What is the difference you ask? Well the folding chair at the end of the flight line sits in sand. The moon, crescent shaped, spreads is orange glow across the dusty night sky. Again, I find myself drifting to a future that cannot exist, or rather that I have not found a way to make possible. The ideas come so fast, the thoughts almost drowning my reality until the helicopters come and drown out my own mind. Twin engines push hard against this Thanksgiving night’s sky, with a thump-thump-thump the bird descends with a slight reflection from the neon lights of the pad. The chair is comfortable, the night is cool, and the world is as it should be, or rather how I have made it; through my choices. Though I am the farthest one could be from the coast of the outer banks, on a boat, with my feet propped up and book in hand, it is how I feel at this exact moment. The view is different but for that slight moment, that glimpse of a euphoric high is mine. And as quick as a breath, it is gone. The roar of the engines brings me back to the reality of the northern belt of Baghdad. The sand that has drifted up and over me is enough for me to stand. To grab the camp mug and to turn my back to everything and every thought, I turn my back to my own existence for the long walk home for the night. It is only when I turn around that I am lost, it is only as I fold up my chair and deny myself the pleasantries of belonging to one or the other that hurts. The first step is slow and painful. The next is strong and sure, I am back and am returning to what I know. To a team that I live with, to an army that I am a part of, to humanity from which I was raised, I walk. The walk will cleanse these thoughts, the scotch will bring a smile to my face, and the bed will give me rest until tomorrow. A day without significance, without reminders, without un-kept promises.