Author’s note: Paracelsus said “all things are poisons: there is none which is not a poison.” In my debut Basement piece, I shamelessly warped that statement so that I could cover “all things” in my “A Dose of Poison” column while adhering to its title. Every other week, I will discuss whatever it is that consumes my mind at the time the article is penned.
With any luck, I will be snoozing next to some piece of heavy military equipment in the back of an enormous gray airplane somewhere over the Atlantic at the time this article is posted. My unit is finally coming home after 7.344262295 months (but who’s counting?) deployed to a godforsaken “undisclosed location in Southwest Asia.” In recent weeks, the exciting prospect of returning to our families has sparked conversation regarding what is most anticipated about getting our feet back on American soil. Based on discussions that have ensued, I think I speak for everyone when I say that it boils down to three things: a home-cooked meal, a chilled libation… and one other thing. Let’s discuss.
To be honest, the dining facility food hasn’t been terrible. It hasn’t been great either. Perhaps it is best rated on a scale of “edible” to “satisfactory.” No matter the choice of adjective, my last 579 or so meals came from a bi-weekly rotating schedule and were served to me and 1,500 of my closest friends from stainless steel trays. It would suffice to say that I am ready for something new. Something prepared in a kitchen which prioritizes flavor and quality rather than mass production. A nice, juicy steak with a side of fresh steamed broccoli sounds just about right.
Another luxury of home that has been painfully absent is alcohol. After a handful of awkward mandatory morale events, one thing has become apparent – alcohol is indeed a prerequisite for a good time. While I do appreciate the time my liver has had to rest and recuperate, it is high time for the lobed organ make up for its recent reprieve. After 225 dry days there will have to be a probationary period, during which a solitary Captain and Coke or three fingers of a nice single-malt will most likely put me out of commission. At least I’ll be a cheap date.
Rounding out the top 3 list is that “one other thing.” Sorry guys, that one’s just for me. I’ve been away from home for nearly two-thirds of a year … use your imagination. Following items one and two above, I think it’s a fairly natural progression of events.
In my opinion those three pretty much cover the must-do agenda for returning home from the desert. Don’t get me wrong, simply being home will be more than enough. Being able to kiss my wife and hug my daughter – who has known the 3D version of me for less than half of her life – is all I need. After that, there are several little things I look forward to as well. Grass, temperatures below 100, air that is free of dust and sand, central air conditioning, and large bodies of water in which I can immerse myself just to name a few. However, when it comes right down to it my priorities are going to be good food, a stiff drink, and that one other thing.
In case Nick needs some tips on enjoying “libations” when he comes home, Sy Doan has the art of enjoying minor league sports and beer mastered.
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