Friday, November 12, 2010

Restless No More!

What a difference a few days makes! Last Sunday, I was flying high from watching the Baltimore Ravens beat the Miami Dolphins at M&T Bank Stadium. This morning, I'm bemoaning the last minute loss by the Ravens to the Atlanta Falcons. Football season is not for the faint of heart.

Actually, I'm enjoying this fall more than I have in previous years. My summer in Las Vegas was something like a fever dream, and I can see now that being pulled out of there was probably the best thing that could have happened to me. My mission in Vermont was an incredible, mind-bending experience which I am now chronicling in the novel I am writing (20K words so far), and living back home with Mom is giving me a chance to appreciate the way my life was before joining the Navy. After taking a good long gander at those greener grasses, it's easier for me to realize how nice my life was growing up, and it makes me wonder what I was fighting against as a teen.

Who am I kidding? I know exactly what I was fighting: my own eternal sense of restlessness. I get bored easily, and a life of routine quickly wears on my nerves. I got so bored last week that, before going to the Ravens game, I dyed purple highlights in my hair. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but as I was leaving the stadium, I realized my boss The Colonel would not approve.

Sitting in my cubicle on Monday, I waited for The Colonel to stroll by and catch a glimpse of me. As I expected, he gave me a long, judgmental stare, but did not say a word. My stomach sank. I was expecting to see a memo circulate regarding proper office attire and grooming. It never came though, and he made no further mention of it.

Later in the week, I discovered why. The Colonel called me into a meeting yesterday. The regular support staff were on holiday for Veterans Day, so the building was eerily quiet and most of the overhead lights were turned off to save on electricity. When I reached The Colonel's office, I was shocked to see him wearing a polo shirt and khaki slacks rather than his usual gray suit (is it the same suit or multiple, identical suits?). Butterflies were already in my stomach because one of the attendees listed on the appointment e-mail was Geoffrey, the handsome operative I'd seen walking in and out of the boss's office for the past couple weeks.

When he arrived, I was slightly disappointed to see that his hair had grown out to an unruly length. What little curl his hair had was pulled down by the weight of his locks and it looked slightly dirty. Even worse was the cheesy, Burt Reynolds mustache he was cultivating. Despite all that, his penetrating eyes and easy smile were still plainly evident and my heart tapped my stomach for an instant. I know it all sounds like silly, schoolgirl stuff, but trust me, he's that hot!

Anyway, the reason we were in this meeting, along with a couple of intelligence analysts, was to discuss a new operation we were laying out to get inside a homegrown terrorist cell on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. I can't reveal any details right now, but it involves some Caucasian, working-class people with extreme hatred for the U.S. government. Geoffrey was already making moves to get in with the group, hence his new, shabby appearance. I was being briefed because The Colonel believed that he may need a second undercover operative in place to support Geoffrey. Apparently, when he saw my purple-streaked hair, he thought I had just the right look for the part. Strange how these things work out.

I'm being held in reserve for the time being until Geoffrey can get a better lay of the land and a bigger sting operation can be worked out, but it looks like I'll soon be working closely with Geoffrey on a top priority assignment! With this news and the impending holidays, I'm really happy for the first time in quite a long while. The restlessness can be put in closet again.

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