At this point of time I would gladly volunteer for a chance at mopping the floor.
The Marines Awaiting Training (MAT) is where Marines who haven’t been picked up by a class do menial chores by mainly just wait around doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING until pickup. It is the grossest example I’ve seen of wasted taxpayer dollars. I’ve spent the last 3 days sitting quietly, bullshitting, mopping, watching someone else mop, and similar invigorating activities. There are never enough mops or supplies to occupy every MAT, so I’ll often find myself standing next to a moppist awaiting my turn at cleaning the floor. This is my workday for at least the next week until I pick up, of which I’m about 90% sure of (as I’ve learned it’s best to be skeptical) since everyone I talk to says that “fleet Marines” get priority. The fleet is this mystical place that the common boot can only dream of making it to after the long crawl out of some shithole such as Fort Lee. The shithole where I learned how to operate radios was in 29 Palms, California, also known as the middle of the desert. The boots here gawk in starry eyed admiration when I mention that horrendous location, but in my opinion Fort Lee sucks a bit harder. Maybe I’ve just gone soft. Moving on, August 12th is the day I;m supposed to pick up class, and I look forward to performing a role more honorable than an inefficient janitor.
Collective boredom leads to the return of all the stupid puzzle games we all played at Outdoor school and other camps. My favorites so far include variations on the Green Glass Door. Boobs can go through the door, but tits can’t. In the atmosphere of twenty marines passing the time, subject matter leans towards the hilariously crude. I’ve taken it upon myself to poll the platoon on the question of the week: “Would you suck a dick for 10 million dollars, and why?” Surprisingly, considering the stereotypes of the straight-male-identifying demographic, the responses are split about 50-50. 70-30 towards yes when you increase the amount to $20 million. Weighing risking heteronormative identities versus an enormous amount of money provokes insightful group conversation in where stoic defenders of masculinity are pitted against trolls like me in haggling over prices and specifics. “Well how big is it? How long does it take? Will he take me out to dinner first?” I usually try to hype up the $10 million option by explaining how working a job with the ridiculous salary of $500,000 a year would still take twenty years to amass that wealth (excluding taxes) and how that’s obviously worth a few minutes of… well… let’s say challenging the traditional binary of sexuality.
The conversation continues, but only remains entertaining for an hour. The floors are all mopped, every surface dusted, none of these will need redoing for at least a little time. I ponder the lines on the back of my hands and the shape of each sunspot or freckle. Leaving over to Private whocareswhatname I casually observe: “Wow, MAT platoon is really fucking boring.” “Yeah I know,” he replies, ”I’ve been waiting to pick up class for three months.”
Time sure does fly when you’re having fun.
P.S. This title reminds me of nighttime land navigation with PFC Tyson, 2 Marines 1 Map.