A couple weeks ago I was thinking about GI Joe. Let me be clear, I think about him every day, but that particular day, I was occupied constantly by a nagging in my core. Ok obsessing about him on that day. It’s been 5 months plus a few days since I saw him and felt connected to another human being who ‘gets’ me and who can also fuck my brians out, leaving me feeling like a truly sane and desirable woman, which I have regular doubts about. I wonder about him every day. I hope he is safe. I hope he is comfortable. I hope he’s happy. Or as comfortable and happy as a military contractor in Afghanistan can possibly be.
So, as I often do when I am alone with my thoughts, I googled. That day the question was, “When will I see GI Joe. He’s in Afghanistan and I miss him.” GI Joe is a very private person and has disappeared himself from all social media and websites. Very little public information exisits. I know this of course because I’ve googled before with other questions. This time however, my heart stopped beating for a second and I was left breathless and paralyzed. There it was, in the list search results. His name with some headline with 2 videos of him.
The feeling of shock and disbelief came over me. It reminded me of the time I first saw internet proof of GH’s gayness. To click or not to click. I am a curious sucker and I clicked. There it was, in full color and sound. GI Joe doing what he does with a bunch of other GI Joes. The other video was an awkward interview style video of him answering questions; I can tell from the video that he loves doing what he does and that he is equally uncomfortable with video interview.
I touch the screen and am so grateful he is alive. He looks well, meaning he still has all his limbs and appears to be fed. I am so thankful for the opportunity to have seen him and heard him. A wave of gratitude for him and all our service men, women and families just rushes over me. I think of all the military spouses who cry for their loved ones every day and wonder about them; I wish them peace and try and send them good energy of thanks because they all have made so many sacrifices. I have mixed feelings about our involvement in global social politics, but without a wavering thought I support and send love to all the families who have a loved one involved and who are left alone with their own needs and unanswered questions. Since GI Joe and I don’t really have a relationship, I am not angry he hasn’t called or emailed me back. I don’t expect him to; I would like him to, but having seen him and heard him, and knowing he is still physically on this planet is enough for me for now.
Fast forward a couple of weeks and I almost know every word of his interview by heart. I have watched countless times as it is the only way to really see him. I miss him and look forward to the next time I can see him or hear his voice. Selfishly I need him to tell me that I am ok and that my life will settle down. When I found out about GH, GI Joe held me up. It might have been some special forces mind trick that he played, but he would hold my face in his hands and look into my eyes. He saw me. He would tell me that I am beautiful and smart and that I was important to him. When he held me like that and our eyes locked, the world and the voice of fear and doubt in my head were silenced. I truly felt he believed what he said and if he saw it, I could see it. I need that lift again. I need him to hold me again and look into my eyes and feel his belief in me. Plus I want to fuck again.
Yesterday I was out with my kids at a local farm stand getting strawberries. This farm stand reminds me of the farm stand I worked at when I was in high school. My mind started drifting back to those days, the friends I had and the simplicity of it all. At 17, I really did have all the answers – I was a know it all because life was simple. It was exactly how it seemed on the surface; my boyfriend was honestly heterosexual, my friends were true to the core and my future all a beautiful promise. I wanted to go back to that time and visit the simple feelings of security again…. My phone rang and snapped me back to reality. I felt it. GI Joe was on the other end of the line. I pulled the phone out of my pocket and the caller ID said, “restricted.” My heart skipped 2 beats. If he would call me, it would be on skype or from a restricted phone. I quickly answered it to hear airport noises and loud sounds, but no voice on the other end of the line. I felt like it was him and couldn’t hang up. I said, “hello?” but knew there would be no response. The line stayed open for a few seconds and I strained to hear the sounds on the other end.
I needed to say goodbye and hang up to both this call and the hope that he is out there, waiting silently for me. I hung up and my daughter asked, “who was that?” I answered her honestly and said, “I don’t know. It was probably a wrong number.” My heart sank with the possibility that I probably told her the truth and that as much as I need and want to hear from GI Joe, the odds are slim. I am glad google showed me the videos but it would have been better for my mental health if it just responded, “Better not tell you now.”