Monday, March 31, 2008

A Bright Red Hat

Malarky was dishonorably discharged from the marines after a quarrel with his superiors. The quarrel came to blows and ended with Malarky’s jaw being cracked, of course Malarky did not instigate any physical harm towards his superiors, as the records say he did. But when you have the word of three commanding officers against one fucking little shit ant of a man, well there is no second guessing the odds of who is going to win.

Malarky got out of the service, and the only thing keeping him from imprisonment for assaulting a superior officer was the mercy of a colonel who knew Malarky’s dad, a purple heart war Veteran. The colonel shat his pants with glee however when he imagined the pathetic skeleton of the man Malarky high tailing it home with his tail between his legs, telling his daddy he was a failure at serving the family dream.

The first thing Malarky did when he was kicked through open gate onto free land was piss on a mail box. He recited a rant against the USA to himself, in his head, with all thoughts ceasing when a metal rake scraped up against the side of his head.

“You’re on private property,” hissed a red bearded fellow.

Malarky sprinted off. It was miles between the basic training camp and any sort of civilized township. Scattered homes of confederate loving country men well equipped with weapons and rakes and hatred for fuck ups.

Malarky was always getting kicked out of organizations. Classroom, baseball team, golf team, cross country running, student council, drama club, the school bus, parties, bars. It was as if Malarky wore a bright red, ten gallon hat, with the words “I am a fuck up, chase me out before I catch” stitched on the fabric. His father coerced him to serve the country. And the alienated young man agreed that his marshmallow social skills needed to be hardened. And just as he thought he was shaping up, Malarky finding some pride, some courageous marble solid core to his own being, that bright red hat with the stitched words, “I am a fuck up. Chase me out before I catch,” flew right back a top his skull.

Officers started picking on him. And Malarky was now a man with a bit of a back bone, ready to lay down his foot for justice. But his foot was repeatedly kicked out from under him.

Malarky drank some bad moonshine the night he got out. A little too much of a beverage poorly brewed. He died of alcohol poisoning in front of the same gates to the same basic training base he booted from that morning. Inebriated, he staggered 4 miles on dusty road because this time he had the spirits in him to pick the fights he had been accused of picking. With his legs swimming in booze blood, he knelt recklessly to scoop up large stone. Like David fighting Goliath he cocked his arm. Before the guards could pick him off, his diluted blood failed him and he fell face first to the dirt. Before anyone could race out to see who this nut was and what business brought him here, Malarky stopped breathing American air.

The basic training camp could never successfully train soldiers from that point on. Not due to any disease of reputation, but because there is a ghost, subliminally making a mark. In the night’s cricket song Malarky can be heard faintly shouting around the perimeter fence. His dissatisfaction echoes in the ears of those who cannot sleep. The nare du well has taken off the bright red ten gallon hat which projects “I am a fuck up. Chase me out before I catch,” and placed it upon the roof of this base, which became the culmination of all his rejections. Fights broke out, and sicknesses feigned. “Get me out of here,” thumped in the hearts of all of the trainees. Each night the crickets would get louder, and so would Malarky. Louder than the American flag that flapped.

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