Firewatch

36 years ago I started my journey to earn the title of US Marine. No doubt the yellow footprints come to mind but today, I remember a time through all the the chaos of Marine bootcamp that I found even more surreal than the days that started at 0530 with reville blasting and two minutes to be dressed and on the road to chow. It was Firewatch.

For civilian types, firewatch is basically patrolling the squadbay for an hour while the rest of the platoon sleeps. This was a time of self reflection as in “what the hell did I get myself into?” Walking the squadbay, you could hear the sound of your steps on the the always pristine floors blend in with multiple breathing/snores of your platoon brothers. Approaching the lone mirror at the front of the squadbay aka “the classroom”, you didn’t recognize your own reflection as your physical transformation didn’t take place standing in front of a mirror. Your body felt stronger everyday and at this late hour, it longed for sleep.

Five minutes before your watch was up, you woke up your relief. The last five minutes of duty always felt like an hour.


Whether consciously designed as a time for a Marine recruit to be self aware or not, it was an hour in time that I did just that.

Firewatch: Sleep well America, Marines have been on Firewatch since 1775.

#SemperFi

The Pact By Raymond Roy #writephoto

The Pact
Just as he reached up for the knocker, the door eerily swing open. Deep into the remote cottage yellow sunshine cut into the pitch black recesses. True divided lites in the aged handcrafted wood windows created a checkerboard pattern on the terra-cotta tile floor. In the beams of light, elongated dust particles danced, almost suspended like mosquito larvae in long forgotten stagnant pond. 
 “Enter, I’ve been waiting for you”. 
A sulphur-like scent hung in the air. “Would you care for something to drink?, We have allot to talk about”. 

“Yeah sure,,Scotch on the rocks would be great”

“Scotch? Not a problem,as I am sure you can appreciate, Ice is difficult to keep around here.”
With a nervous dry response, (stuttering)”yeah, I guess forgot about that.” 

“So,,,,,,well done on the Paris agreement”…. “the warmer the world is that you promised to deliver to me, the better.”
“Hey, ya mind if we crack a window open? Getting a little toasty in here.” 

Written for Sue Vincent’s Photo Prompt Thanks Sue! 

The Appointment by Raymond Roy

Window sample packed so tightly into my coupe, I had to lean the front seat forward just to squeeze it in. 2pm in home demo appt. 

“You wait right here young man, I will be right back”. The lady of the house went in to the kitchen. The house smelled old. As I heard her clanking around, I couldn’t help but notice the city citation letter sitting on her coffee table. It listed specific home repairs in lieu of condemning the property. Windows was one of them. As I understood her husband was on the road driving tractor trailer. 

Clanging in the kitchen continued, muffling out what sounded like voices. 

Sitting patiently, tap, tap, tap, an iridescent house fly pummeled its exoskeleton against the plastered wall. Suddenly it dive bombs down into to corner of the room on to what appeared to be a matted rug sticking out from behind an ottoman. Like John Coffey in “the Green Mile” opening his mouth to release the evil he had sucked out of another being, a flurry of flies swarmed out from behind the foot rest. Much like a flock of starlings swirling in the windy autumn day, the flies orchestrated their way toward my side of the room gathering on the unkept glass of the south facing picture window. Looking closer at the matted rug, I realized it wasn’t a rug at all but sadly was the tail of a once beloved family pet. Hmm, 

“Ma’m, everything okay in there? Ma’m? ”

Walking toward the arched doorway, I struggled to get my footing as the well worn shag rug offered little resistance to the soles of my dress shoes. To the left, the front door was to the and to the right a narrow hallway leading to the kitchen. Her back was to me as she continued to bang dirty dishes around. As I walked closer, the voice I had heard was hers, spewing out a series of expletives so graphic it would make a sailor blush. “Ma’m? ” Approaching the rooms threshold, I understood what the clanging was loud, the was no water in the sink nor was any coming out of the tap as she repeatedly went through the motions. 

Through the kitchen window I could see the overgrown back yard. 

“Ma’m”?  

She looked up, put down her pots, as if to surrender, her shoulders sank. I reached out a hand and gently placed it on her back. It was if she had never experienced a human touch. Heavy teardrops rolled down her face ashen cheeks, splashing on the chipped porcelain sink. The last thing she needed was windows.