Monday, February 9, 2009

Liquid Hell

This is Josh, if you don't alread know. If you keep reading my grammatical mistakes will probably give me away. I should warn you I can't promise to keep my up coming story free of creative words.

This last week has been the one of the hardest weeks of my life. I am learning so much and just as much mental stuff as emotional stuff. Just how to control my emotions and my thoughts, and my "brain power" (what little there is). Me and lens are not enjoying being apart, it is much harder than I thought. But here we are about half way.

My week: Monday we got to shoot all day, very good day. Tuesday was incedibly hard, we had to get certified to handcuff people....tremedously tedious. Wednesday......OH WENDNESDAY...

Wednesday we got shot with OC spray. Oleoresin Capsicum as it is scientifically known, liquid hell to anyone who has ever been sprayed with it. It in an all natural spray that is made from the juices of peppers that are grown in hell. So they make this stuff and put in a pressurized container and spray it in peoples eyes to obtain compliance through pain. So being a peace officer that will have to carry OC we have to get sprayed with it to determine the effects for ourselves and also to know how long we can react if it gets in our eyes. So one at a time they take us into a field (while everyone else gets to watch) and we have to stand there and take a shot of this orange liquid in the forehead and eyes. Then we have to run over to a punching bag and hit it for a couple of seconds, then run and pick up a gun and follow a man that is running side to side while hollaring directions at him. Doesn't sound that hard, or at least that is what I thought.

So I see a couple of other guys taking shots in the face and I start to get worried. I decide I better go next or I might not go at all. So I step up and stick out my chest and suck in my gut. Close my eyes and shut my mouth then this cold liquid hits me in the face. I open my eyes and go run to the bag, hit it a couple of times, then run to the gun and pick it up and follow the LT around yelling at him. Not too bad so far. Then my partner escorts me to the water. Still not that bad (about 30 seconds after impact). I then stick my head in a bucket of water and when it comes out.....pain beyond reason. You are physically incapable of opening your eyes, and it feels like someone cut the top of your face and is activley peeling you skin from your skull while pouring battery acid on it at the same time.

I had thought this whole thing was going to be bad, but never anything to this extent. So I utter a few choice words, the commence to try to keep washing while trying to keep breathing. It is so bad that there were several times when i really thought that I might not make it through all of this. I wanted to lay down and die. I was like f*ck wardens can keep it and I just want my eye balls back. Mean while your nose just lets go. I had snot from my nose all the way to the ground in one continous stream (yuck I know you should have been there).

Not only is my eyes burning but my whole face and ears and hands. 20 mins go by and I can finally open my eyes to see the world. I can tell you I have never been so excited to have my sight back. I really didn't think it was possible for a human to be able to see after something like that. The SHU was 2,000,000. Next time you are on the net looking up SHU you will see how damn hot this stuff was.

Thats all. I am sorry I don't have a really cool anology like my wife, which was pretty impressive. But OC day is behind me and I couldn't be happier. Feels like a huge step in our journey to game wardeness.

Oh yeah, everything subsides in about 50 mins. Then you go take a shower that night and the water and steam reactivate it all over again. Like I have heard before, I wish I could find the guy that decided to put something like that in a bottle and spray it in someones eyes and when I found him I would kick him in the...... shin

Friday, February 6, 2009


it's friday nite...josh is on his way home...and i'm tryin to will myself away from the addictiveness of facebook (my latest venture). so i thought i'd see if writin a blog would facilitate me removin myself from this chair...

we've been really fortunate the last few weeks, as josh has been able to come home every weekend since christmas. he's carpooled w/dalhart (there's a guy from dalhart, but i have no idea how to spell his name, so i just call him 'dalhart') a few times and brought his fried royce ilsie home. we've piddled and played and watched movies and just enjoyed bein near each other...i don't think either of us are gettin used to this separation, which is good, i think. we're a week away from the seemingly pivotal half-way mark.

ya know...there's somethin about gettin to that place...or rather, takin one step on the other side of half-way. momentum seems to pick up a little...and a vague sense of downhill motion eases the mind. it's not all easy breathin this side of it, though. - i'm reminded of the last time josh and i went backpackin.

we went to colorado and started in. after a long day's work, we settled for the evenin in this quiet valley. our plans were to wake up the next day, take a day trip up to 'the window' and come back. judgin by where we thought we were on the map, we thought the endeavor would be about 4ish miles we took a little food, some water, and headed out leisurely. we climbed and clamored and clamored and the point of nearly exhausting ourselves...and this was all before we even reached the summit of 'the window' itself. i distinctly remember reachin this place...past the trees and shadows of the timber...into a sort of clearing...the grass was short, and there were little sprigs of mountain flowers all over the place...stones, from the size of pebbles to boulders, were scattered around....and up ahead, i saw the formation known as 'the window.' it was remarkable...adventurously inviting...and daunting.

i was beginnin to feel physically ill from the exhaustion...nauseated, trembly, foggy-headed...i was spent. or so i thought....w/'the window' w/in shoutin distance, we couldn't stop. we couldn't turn around. we had to go on...we had to. have you ever felt this way before? and that last 150-200 yards was the hardest length of the trip. i'd put my head down, take a deep breath, steady my respirations, and take as many steps as i could before almost fallin down....then i'd pause, stand up straight, look at the peak, fill my lungs w/thrilling mountain air, then duck my head and go a little farther. over and over i did this....until i finally made it. i think josh had to physically help me up the last few steps.... and we stood there. together. arms around each other. feelin like we were on top of the world....hands tremblin, legs shakin, hearts poundin...and the pure joy of that moment seemed to halt the spinning of the earth.

and then we had to head back downhill.

the downhill trek was still whole person was so tired...but it was a different kind of tired than comin up. it was a worthwhile tired...a fulfilled exhaustion.... this stillness inside that rested, "we went all the way. it was so hard, and we kept goin till there wasn't any place left to go."

and yet...the hardest part of that day was the 150-200 yards just before the peak....that last little bit before we were half-way finished. and that's kinda how we feel right now, i think. after next weekend, we can reasonably say "we're almost there." if we can just keep goin...just keep on keepin on (like some of my dear friends would say), we'll get to graduation and a new version of our life together. but now...the past couple weeks...i think we've both fought the urge to give throw in the towel, feelin like the messiness of these 7 months isn't worth what we can't see. fortunately, we haven't both had days like that at the same time....

amazingly enough, though, we're really doin okay. this continues to be difficult and frustrating, and honestly, it just flat-out sucks. but we're okay. appreciation is ever-lengthening in us...gratitude growing for how far we've come together....and deep rivers of love are holding us strongly and tenderly.

sidenote: what we thought was gonna be 4ish miles roundtrip turned into 4-5 miles after about 9 miles and several hours, we stumbled into camp and crashed.