By: Jinx Da Clown
“Those glasses are sweet, but fuck man,” David, a Weapons Senior Airman began. “Someone is going to eat you alive.”
Senior Airman Slater chuckled. He kept stride with David, proud of his new purchase. How could anyone tell him that his new Ray-Bans were out of regulation? Shit; how could anyone tell him, anything – he had to be able to see.
Slater’s first supervisor, SSgt Blair, started the trend of noncompliance that grew inside Slater’s being. Slater lacked the contextual cues required to understand SSgt Blairs philosophical comment. Nonetheless, a year prior, he took, “everyone has one reg that they hate following, and one they hate seeing broken,” to mean “everyone has one reg that they don’t have to follow, and one they have to correct.”
Slater respected SSgt Blair for his intellect and wisdom – the same could not be said of SSgt Blair.
Fuck eyeglass regulations.
Surely Slater wasn’t the only one thinking such things. Being blind was bad enough, but having your face play holster to BCGs was nothing short of torture. Never mind being a Spec and all the maintenance stereotypes – bland, rapey frames made sexiness a farfetched dream.
And so Slater and David walked into work. Slater, feeling empowered by his blood-red frames, and the new found attention David delivered. He had his own scarlet letter. But he was too consumed with pride to understand such highlight comes with painful ass-fucking.
“Catch ya later, stay strong!” David called as the two parted ways.
“No worries man!”
Slater felt the eyes piercing his being. His sexy frames fogged up from flushed face, but he refused to remove them from his face. He could navigate the section without sight anyways.
He took a seat at the break-room table, in the short time taken to travel the conversation turned back to other topics. The worst of it over, Slater let out a sigh. Momentary comfort, cocky even; when TSgt Walker enter the room for roll call, Slater stiffened for round two.
Slater followed TSgt Walker with quiet, inquisitive form. Maybe, just maybe, he wouldn’t notice, and Slater could continue with his day. No such luck.
TSgt Walker’s eyes met Slater’s, through thick glass, wrapped in blood-red plastic frames. The two kept gaze, Slater’s body temp rose as TSgt Walker’s facial impressions flexed. The silence and tension built as others realized the turn of events.
“You really are a fucktard sometimes, you know that?” TSgt Walker announced.
“Nope, don’t fucking care, you want to paint a target on yourself, then go right ahead. I got better shit to do.”
Slater opened his mouth, ready to continue, but TSgt Walker left the argument, moving to the crowd and accomplishing roll call. Slater, yet again, left his fears in the wind with a deep sigh of relief: Problem solved.
For the rest of the day, anyone with issue would assume his Section Chief handled the issue – not that was one, so, Slater sat through his roll call with a smile.
For the next hour, Slater went about his business, feeling those around him starting, or even rejoicing in his rebellious actions. Only in the military would colored frames be considered rebellious.
However, at the sixty-first minute, business changed.
“Slater! Walker wants you inside!”
The Six-driver pushed Airman Nolly – the FNG – out of the truck and signaled for Slater to jump-in.
“What’s up?” Slater asked leaning through the opening from the back to the cab. He knew better than to yell with Klein driving, that’s how you get brake checked. So, leaning in close to speak over the music was the clear option, even if it meant inhaling concentrated evil and stale cigarette musk.
“Don’t know, don’t care. Just hurry the fuck up, we got shit to do.”
The truck halted, Slater jumped out, and in less time than zero-fucks, the truck was gone again.
With another sigh, Slater walked in, ready for the next round of fuckery.
“Sir?” Slater asked, standing at the office door. TSgt Walker didn’t even look up, instead Slater was met with a raised hand, holding a folder.
“Take this to the Chief.”
Slater took the folder, inside was an appointment letter needing review. Looking into the break room, he wondered why one of the others didn’t get this task – well he knew why, but still wondered.
“Sir, why me?”
“Because I said, go.”
Slater turned, leaving the room.
“Wait, come back.”
“Give me the folder.” TSgt Walker scribbled something on the folder and gave it back to Slater. “Now, go.”
Slater walked out of the office before investigating the note. A rock hit the pit of his gut upon review: Chief, is he wearing his sweet new glasses?
No matter, Slater shook of his fear. He was in the right, nothing could sway him. Too bad his sweat glands didn’t believe the same fact.
By the time he reached Chief Donaldson’s office, sweet drench his brow, hands, and pits.
Fuck it, no turning back, he thought.
“Chief, I got something for you.” Senior Airman Slater announced through Sharkey vocals.
No need for the note – except to keep the glasses on Slater’s face – Chief peered up and entered salty-mode.
“What in the fucking hell is on your face!” Chief Donaldson bellowed.
“Sir, I need the glasses to see, and I paid for these,” Slater began. “So I don’t see the issue.”
“Don’t see the issue? Because 36-2903 doesn’t exist, huh? Where the fuck is your supervisor!”
Spiraling down the drain: Slater’s confidence and $350 frames were doing just that.
“What are you yelling about, Chief!?” Captain Bear, the MOO, asked peering into Chief Donaldson’s office.
Slater noticed – no, felt – the demeanor change in the room, instantly. Not that Chief became rainbows and sunshine. Chief had no patience, for enlisted or officer. The shift was that his agitation grew, encompassing the Captain and Slater.
“Captain, I am handling something right now.” Chief replied, denouncing her presence. Something – Slater realized – the Captain ignored.
“Nice glasses, Airman!” Captain Bear added without professional regard for Chief’s obvious discontent.
“Ma’am, those are not nice. Those are completely out of regs!”
“Stop being a grumpy, old Chief! What’s it hurting!” Captain Bear chuckled, smiling at Slater.
Slater couldn’t believe his ears. Maybe he would win this one! But Chief’s anger grew, and the thought left Slater’s mind as quick as it entered.
Chief asked the Captain into his office and growled at Slater; “Leave, now!”
No need for repeat, Slater hustled down the hall, escaping the impending doom. With the threshold of safety in sight he stopped, just short of freedom, of normality, and stroked the rim of his glasses – the cause of his predicament.
The smooth frame slid off his face with ease. His scarlet letter removed, he felt the weight of noncompliance lift from his shoulders. From his pocket, he removed a leather bound case and inserted the damned pair, then closed the casket on his rebellious dream with a snap, and gave a moment of silence before continuing his travel toward reality, toward compliance…but first, to the smoke pit – Klein could fucking wait.