I never thought at the age of thirty-four, I’d be sitting here on the front porch of my home. I purchased it while I was still a Navy SEAL. I figured I’d buy it, gut it, renovate it, and rent it out while I was still enlisted. And then when I finally decide to retire, I’d move home, and it would be mine. But that wasn’t in my cards. Instead I got medically discharged two years ago. I thought I’d be lost, not knowing what to really do with myself.
I found a group with former SEALS that were in my boat, and we contracted out as civilians in foreign countries. The money isn’t bad, plus my back doesn’t ache day in and out with what we’re doing over there. The down fall is I’m not here in the States enough to actually work on this ranch style home here in Tennessee. The neighborhood is small, each of us on an acre of land. It’s quiet enough, except for the rogue dog barking here or there. It gives you that quaint home town feel with town being twenty minutes away.
Today I knocked down a wall separating the living room from the entry way. This house was choppy as hell when I first bought it, but it’s slowly becoming the open floor plan it needs to be. Last time I was home, I was able to finish the kitchen. After guzzling my water down, I head back inside, I need to get washed up and head to the grocery store and pick up some food.
I walk into the bathroom, turn the shower on scorching hot, and jump in. This bathroom is something else that will need to be updated on my next trip home, sometimes thinking of everything I need to do is exhausting, but I truly enjoy doing it all the same. I let the hot water pound on my back, praying like fuck it’ll ease some of the ache I have. I stand under the spray for a good twenty minutes before it slowly starts to help. I scrub my body with soap, rinse, shut the water off and towel dry my body. I’m standing in front of the bathroom mirror, and I grimace. I’ve put my body through hell, thinking I was invincible, but boy was I dumb. I have scars on my torso from my time with the SEALS. And my back, that has to be the worst of it. I have an eight-inch scar where they had to open me up and put a steel rod in my back. When I woke up in the hospital with the doctor hovering over me, I knew I was done. Medically discharged at the age of thirty-two wasn’t what I expected. I did the mandated rehab, praying like fuck I wouldn’t have to leave the SEALS, but at the end of the day, my career was toast. So I picked up the pieces, took care of myself, and found what I hope will land me back on my feet.
I finish dressing in a pair of khaki shorts, black v-neck tee, sliding my feet in sneakers and head towards my truck. It’s only four years old now and fully paid off. While I was away, I paid off as much shit as I could while I wasn’t home. Both the truck and house are paid off, leaving me with just paying cash on what I’m doing on the inside. Realizing I need to head to the hardware store, I back out of my driveway and drive towards town.
Sitting on the side of the road after working a double shift at the local diner was not something I was envisioning. I was hoping to stop by and grab a pizza to go, take a hot bath, and binge view what’s on my next watch list, but no. It’s like Murphy’s Law is against me.
Here I sit on the side of the road. The hood is up on my beat-up old car with hot air blowing out. I’m betting it’s the radiator hose or something worse, like a blown motor. If that’s the issue, this car is destined for the junkyard and I’ll just have to walk back and forth from home to work. Who knows, it may save me to do that any way. It’d save on gas and car insurance. They say bad things come in threes, but I’m hopeful after today’s mishap, nothing else will happen.
I called the local tow company, and because it’s Friday, they’re busy as hell and won’t get out for another hour or so. I plant my butt in the grass and take a few deep breaths trying to stop the nervous breakdown from happening. Between working, going to cosmetology school, and holding a roof over my head, I think I may be at my wits end. I look up to the sky, thankful it’s not a scorching hot spring day. There’s a soft breeze, and even with my life trying to throw a few hard knocks, I smile.