Monday, August 3, 2015

Love Changes Everything

Not long after we got married the ship I was on, USS Duluth, was undergoing sea trials (to see if the ship will float after being in dry dock, among other things), shakedown cruises (essentially this means you go to sea to see what needs to be fixed), Reftra (two weeks of hell on keel, to see if the crew is battle ready with lots of sleep deprivation, General Quarters, Condition 1 Alpha, etc.), and out to sea again for exercises with your Squadron.

All this is in preparation for a Westpac deployment, which is normally six months straight, but can be for longer depending on the circumstances.

During the month's leading up to Westpac, I was gone from Patti at 70% of the time so we weren't together much the first year we were married.
Which ain't exactly easy on a marriage.
However, although nether one of us liked it, that was part of my job.

Patti was always there waiting for me whenever I returned from sea. And if I had a duty day (once every three days inport, I had to stay on the ship a full 24 hours to stand watch, help take care of fires, flooding, load up stores for deployment, security alerts, stand watches, or whatever else came up), Patti would come by the ship to visit me, if I wasn't working or standing watch.

During which we would always sneak a kiss or two. :)

So anyways, during this time preparing for Westpac the neighbor next to the apt. we were renting in a seedy section of the North Park area of San Diego started trying' to come on to Patti.
Of course, she would have none of that and she told the creep to get lost more than once, but the guy wouldn't leave her alone.
After a few weeks of this Patti told me about this creep.

Immediately, I went next door to pound on this idiot's door, with Patti warning me not to break it down, because she was worried about me getting arrested.
Fortunately, Creepo answered his door before I hit it too hard (these were cheap apartments and the doors were hollow, and thin, but that was all we could afford at the time).

"What the f#ck do you want?" Creepo demanded, as he flung his door open

"Stay the hell away from my wife assh@le, or I'm gonna beat the sh!t out of you!" I replied politely.

Creepo wasn't as tall as me but he was stockier. I wasn't concerned about that, since I was seeing red, but I could see why Patti was afraid of the punk.

"I'm was just being friendly with her. If you care so much about her you should be home more. Now get the f#ck out of here before I bust you up!"

"Go ahead you punk ass sh!tbag, try to bust me up," I replied even more politely than before.

"What are you going to do motherf#cker? I do whatever I want!" He said, sneering.

"If you so much as even talk to my wife again I will kill you. And if you still keep bothering her, I'll kill you again!" I countered, thinking that sounded pretty dumb, but I ain't exactly mister vocabulary when I get that angry.

As I said that, I stepped closer to creepo, and shoved a finger into his chest. Patti was trying' to grab my arm and pleading with me to come back to the apartment but I couldn't backdown.

Creepo's smugness quickly faded and I saw a flicker of fear in his eyes.

"Um...uh...wh-what does that m-mean, dude?" He asked, taking a step back.

Actually, that's a good question, I thought. But now wasn't the time to explain what I meant.
Now was the time to convince creepydink that I would in fact kill him twice.

"If you bother my wife again you will find out," I replied, squinting my eyes.
"This is your only warning," I continued, raising one finger for dramatic effect, like Bruce Lee, or so I imagined.

"O-okay man, that's c-cool. Just c-calm down man," he said.

I stood there for a moment, my finger still in the air trying to think of what else to say when Patti chimed in.

"Okay. Good! Now let's go home Ben. You don't need to beat him to a pulp like the last guy that bothered me," she said, smiling sweetly.

Actually, up to that point I had not beaten anyone to a pulp for bothering Patti, because this was the first guy that had bothered her since we had met.

Creepydink's face went ashen, and he seemed to be even more afraid than before.

Of course, Creepydink didn't know that. This is a perfect time to scare him some more, I thought.

"Come on," Patti said under her breath, tugging on my arm.

"Okay then," I said, with one last crazy glare (to replace my authentic anger glare) in Creepydinks direction.

As I turned to leave Patti put my arm around her shoulders.

"My hero," she said, kissing me on the cheek and smiling that beautiful smile of hers.

My anger never stood a chance against that lovely smile, nor the kiss that followed.


mushroom said...

Indeed it does. That's the it's supposed to be.

julie said...

You definitely earned that smile.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Never a dull moment. :)

John Lien said...

Great story. I liked your judicious use of politeness to de-escalate the situation. :^)

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Thanks John,
Like Churchill said, politeness costs nothing, know.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Which is a good thing since, at that time I was so broke I couldn't afford to be polite,

julie said...

Hi Ben,

Just thought I'd pop 'round and see how you're doing. You've been quiet the last couple of days; I hope all is well :)

Van Harvey said...

What Julie said, hope it's smooth sailing with you Ben.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Hi guys,
I had to go to the VA last week due to the flu. They hospitalized me because I was very dehydrated and vomiting a lot due to the flu (just jn time for flu shot season).
Unfortunately I forgot my phone and ipad.
I got home yesterday and planned to contact you guys but I fell asleep. Still pretty tired, but feeling better. Also hungry. Hospital food sucks, lol. If the flu don't get you the hospital food will.

Anyways I'm slowly getting back to normal. I sure am sleeping a lot though. I just got up and I still feel tired. But I'm okay. I'll write more later.

julie said...

Thank goodness! Not that you were sick, of course, but that you're home again and relatively okay.

Get some rest, and thanks for checking in.

*big hugs*

Van Harvey said...

Thanks for letting us know Ben, glad your feeling somewhat better, and... what Julie said!

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Thanks Julie, Van and Joan for emailing me and everybody that prayed for me. I cannot thank you enough. It was sheer torture not being in contact with you guys. Worse than the flu, lol.

John Lien said...

I thought something was up. With you being so quiet and all. Glad to hear you are on the mend.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Thanks John,
This really came out of nowhere. i tjought I had food poisoning at first, but I haven't eaten outside the home for months and I always cook everything right so that didn't make sense. it felt that way at first but when I got a fever I figured I caught the flu or west nile virus or something like that.

Anyway I'm glad I went in when I did and doc was able to patch me up, thank God. :)