Dr. Carl Gustov Jung—the world renowned psychologist from the early 20th century—said it best to one of his many mistresses, and emotional nemesis. He stated to her that…“Sometimes…you have to do an unforgivable and unthinkable thing—-in order to go on living,” so I have heard. Yet, we knew better (the light Colonel and I). However, we fell on that sword with, nothing short of, repetitious forbearance, and hubris trepidation…to say the least!
Into – BEASTS OF THE DARK PLACE EMERGE
Looking back—from my prospective (MSG Lynne Graves)—the action’s by my fellow brethrens (Lieutinent Colonel Pache’ and Elle) were indefensible…yet undeniable, at the same time. I believe anyone having to live and confront emotional and mental demons on such an, unprecedented, level would be just as helpless or vulnerable: continually having to fight against one of the most powerful psychological forces on this planet───PTSD! Many, in and around our community (the military and veterans) call it the “dark place” for a reason. It is no wonder this particular couple fell helplessly into one another’s LZ (landing zone), and trust me when I say…”the zone was hot”! The decision by Elle and the Colonel to act as one another’s covert “trusted agents” ,no matter how needful and dubious, seems to have been written by the faithless hand of “destiny” herself. Nonetheless, these capricious culprits were willing participant—-knowing full well that Elle was engaged to Colonel Kidd’s just across the way. Pache’—married himself, to a very striking and emotionally unstable southern bell from Florida: never wavered in his pursuit to feed the beast lurking in the darkness of his psyche…not ever! .
However, somewhere along their dubious and fascinating encounter with one another the two adopted the philosophy that together they would either “feast or famine)” ───no straddling of fence─── and ”no holds barred” in their sensual tryst with one another. Despite the perpetuated depth of deceit between them, of indifference, neither party was stimulated only by his or her psychological torment. No, indeed it was their awareness of paralleled realities: which LTC Pache’ and Elle could hardly bear. Unable to love without trust or emotional connection is daunting, at times. In lust and life…” sometimes you have to do an unthinkable thing in order to go on living” …Elle and LTC Pache’ fit this cliché’ to its fullest. To leave, or rather, escape the dark place “lust” between these trusted agents would not only become a sacred covenant, but from a mental prospective…one of life’s very needful things.
Psychologically, physically, and emotionally the star crossed Lovers were the quintessential moths—drawn to that hot flame! But it would be Elle’s continual challenge of Pache’s politics that would propell him to live up to his legendary nickname as the “Naughty Republican”—he lived for it! Gosh…what a truculent fate for these needy lovers. The irony of this tryst is that it would be the diversity of their political ideologies that would both propel and attract them towards one another—- like a runaway freight train! Nonetheless, Elle and Pache’ needed that type of dark fire to soothe their angst, and the untamed beast consuming every inch of their psyches.
Moreover, if Pache’ and Elle were nothing else…the disillusioned lovers were pragmatist and existentialist, by nature. No stretch of the imagination there! Meaning—-that in love and life—-the two needed nothing or no one fiscally or socially ( total loners). Pursuing the taboo in their lives with truculence wasn’t a sense of arrogance or apathy by these agents of primal neurosis. It was, unfortunately, a terrible sense of “self-preservation” via the libidinous capitulation (hot and steamy eroticism) that was to come between their covenant. Oh…make no mistake the two knew their inner yearnings were corrupted by flawed desires and neurosis, but clarity of thought took a back seat to the hunger and yearning waging a paradoxical type of guerilla warfare from deep within them. In Pache’s mind…to the winner would go the spoils—and he was playing this game of chicken…to win, period!
While caught in the clutches of the dark place my two ‘battle buddies” of their ,now, new pleasure covenant slowly initiated a peculiar type of psychological and mental military operation against the demons of their darkness—slowly pushing the two lovers towards that cliff and obiss (the lovers were sensually nuclear). Fear was the true catalyst and driving force behind their duplicitous love affair. And the exposure of these vulnerabilities gave way to one driving force between them–-that their only recourse for survival would be to submerge themselves into one another with all the strength and forbearance the two could possible muster! Right or wrong…they were engaged too deep to stop that type of lust, and forceful magnitism. Hey…its the “nature of the dark beast”—PTSD has a strange way of manifesting itself…very strange!
Though conscious of their wrong doing underneath; bear in mind, the conscience mind is no match for the demons of the darkness. Any soldier or veteran who has been there, and lived to tell the story, can truly relate to this ill-fated couples connection and peril. The pleasure covenant needed sources to feed their strength and covetousness, at that time (one another). Internally, Elle and Pache’ were fighting against two very extraordinary and perplexing forces–right and wrong! This battle drew and kept them coming for one another, repeatedly, passionately and emotionally! An emotional greed destined to either destroy or consume their lives covertly, of course! covetousness, at that time (one another). Internally, Elle and Pache’ were fighting against two very extraordinary and perplexing forces–right and wrong! This battle drew and kept them coming for one another, repeatedly, passionately and emotionally! An emotional greed destined to either destroy or consume their lives covertly, of course!
We are all in awe i.e. myself included, of the fact that the LTC initiated this an entire sordid affair with his “so called” gesture of good will: something as simple as a thank you note left across the hall on Colonel Kidd’s door. You really gotta have a set of big ones to pull off such a brazen act: camouflaged by a more sinister agenda! The dark place is as mysterious…as it is perilous…inhibitions are often lost in transit—-or rather translation. It often gives its captives the illusion of grandeur. LTC Pache’ was most susceptible to this rule. Gosh….he was so damn bold! The note simple read “thank you for the care package. I am most humble and grateful.” The salutation said nothing more than “thanks a million”. The more I elaborated, to myself, about this officer’s odd gesture the more I wanted answers. The only person who could draw this road map, plus provide me with a narrative that my cognitive and sensible mind could conceive was Elle herself. That said───I politely invited my “Battle Buddy” to brunch and martini’s. If she were going to provide me with a chronicled narrative of her and Pache’s affair on such a mental and emotional magnitude…she would need a push…okay maybe a shove! I couldn’t think of a better catalyst for the spurring of her memory than top-shelf libations by the names of Belvedere, Chopin, and or Grey Goose. “Hell” …I am thinking that we both would need them by nights end!
I immediately phoned Elle: curiosity simply had the better of me. I remember it being very early one Wednesday morning. I expressed to her that she and I needed to have a “bitch session” about she and Pache’. There was a very long pause, and a few short sighs, but Elle finally agreed. We decided to meet at Season’s 52 for a mid-afternoon lunch: at 1330hrs. I remember plopping down on the chaise lounge, in my bedroom sighing to my own self. “Oh my Lord…what have I just done? “Have I just begun to push that proverbial envelope to far”…I thought to myself? Our brethren have a “cardinal rule” when it comes to reproaching the darkness, so to speak. Be extremely cautious landing in that PTSD mental zone…the ” LZ” is always hot! Besides, Elle and I were like sisters. I knew she not only wanted to tell her story….but desperately needed to share this one extraordinary adventure—- yet delicious torment…at the same time.
True to form—–we arrived at the same time about fifteen minutes early. Elle drove up to the valet—–right behind myself. She descended from her black white wall tired caddy with a purpose. Those Auburn tresses tossed about wildly—- in the afternoon breeze—- high noon sun!
We couldn’t see the peril of such brazenness: due to our pre-occupation with stealthy glances, sleight of hand embraces, and whispered advances to one another on the staircase, the sidewalk, and even in the parking lot as we passed each other every morning and evening. It was the Light Colonel across the way who initiated the entire sorted affair with his‘so called gesture of good will.” We are all in awe of the fact that he pulled it off with something as simple as a thank you note attached to Colonel Kids’s door──you really have to have a set to be that bold! Something in my gut told me to read everything into that gesture──I was correct! It was from there our bad behavior turned to pure unadulterated insidiousness and neurotic acts. It never cease to amaze me how well, and how long we kept that secret—-however—-in the great words of Martin Luther King….”a lie never lives forever”—nor do secrets.
We should have seen it coming, but we were blinded and lost in our deception. Truth be known—-we ignored every warning sign we could, because the reality of it was to inconvenient for the planned projectory of our personal agenda. “Come hell or high water” we were going to “shoot…move…and communicate” whenever, wherever, we could, and the staircase became our faithful accomplice. However, in my defense I have to say this: the light Colonel across the hall pursued me like the Seal team that pursued Osama Bin Laden! No joke! Mr. Inspector General would not relent—-until the mission was complete! He wanted what he wanted, and at all cost. I didn’t stand a chance against this Goliath (unbridled passions underneath the surface). There was a hunger raging inside that boy…for everything in life—he just had to have it—anything taboo or interdict!
I tried with every fiber of my being to resist his advances—-my resistances only strengthen his resolve. That young officer was wild in his pursuit! Every time I left LTC Kids place of residence the young LTC (Lieutenant Colonel) from across the way seem to be coming out of his apartment, always a few seconds before I opened my door. Polite as ever, the young LTC never missed an opportuny to travel down the staircase first, and checked the area down below for safety: never allowing me to walk alone in the dark to my car. Even at daybreak, he would scan the perimeter, so to speak, then clear the way for me. I could barely manage a thank you I was so nervous around this young man, because I knew instinctively where this was heading—-down a very dark path fast and furiously! Even as I acknowledge this revelation silently there was no way I could put the brakes on the wheels that were already set into motion. I am willing to bet you Destiny was delighted while she taunted and teased us of the decadence that was to come──which LTC Milk and Cookies (a light-hearted nickname we gave him together for obvious reasons) initiated. I managed to hold on for at least two or three months without caving in: until LTC Kids, my so called, fiancé’, lover, and benefactor, was no longer a LTC, or rather “Light Colonel” as the military so nicknamed them.
One morning as I prepared his uniform for a ceremony I was struck by a startling and bitter reality. There they were before me on the table side by side two “Iron Eagles”: he was now a full bird Colonel. I ran to the bathroom with the birds clasped tightly in my hand, smiling. He gave me that look, the one where nothing has to be said—–it was in his eyes. This was nothing new just Old Iron Sides having his way: it was then I knew he suspected something, but was too honorable to say a word about it. However, behind all the pride and delight was the glare of hurt which said──-“you wouldn’t dare…would you” coupled with his silent pain.
Colonel Kids was no ordinary Officer, he was the last of our nation’s unsung heroes──he deserved so much better than what we served to him, in terms of respect! Think about it──four tours in Iraq──three tours in Afghanistan──promoted from an NCO to an Officer in the field, and highly decorated…military ratings no less than superior and we gave this “Officer and Gentleman” our asses to kiss: and for no other reason: other than our own “Capricious Consumption!” As reality shook me to my senses——a cold and bitter shiver went up my spine, because that look was also a warning! So…there in front of the new Colonel, stood his “Jezebel” caught between and betwixt the clutches of the very powerful “Iron Eagle and “Silver Leaf” warriors now engaged in a mental and perilous game of “chicken──I was the ammo that started the firefight between two very determined warriors!“
Now──to the Light Colonel across the way’s credit he was not about to go silently into the night either, with similar tours abroad, and on the list for the same promotion. This young, upfront, and “in your face” type of Officer possessed something that goes all over you, and he had bite…literally! The extraordinary Officer was bright, ripe, and hungry for greatness! In my eyes the gentleman simply held in his possession a force almost stronger than Mother Nature herself—and “Maggie the Cat (Me) wanted in on the first glance to marvel at him. Someone should have warned me to never play with these types of weapons (weapons of mass seduction that is). Still—for me the young Officer appeared just as honorable as the next, but just a tab bit darker and naughty—this girl had no idea!
Nonetheless, Officer Milk and Cookie’s beguiling attributes covertly concealed his darkest inner demons—-and post tour mental and emotional trauma. No one close to him…not his wife…his best friend or even his mother could have ever imagined the secrets lurking in the darkness of this Officer’s mind. When coupled with temptation these are awful destructive and obsessively neurotic forces: and they manifest themselves like an ameba in the trenches of his mind! Aggression was the only medicine that relieved him rather it was professional, intellectual, or physical—-of course, he preferred to engage in the latter the most. Whatever was his whim…. he did not hesitate to engage it in pursuit of delusional bliss. Trust me…when I say the aggression was a type of emotional fuel for him: until one day, the engine seemed to have stopped running. Officer Milk and Cookies decided it was time for him to feed off another source of energy—–Me! After careful reflection, I realize I dropped into his LOS (line of sight) by sheer coincidence. However, how many of us out here believe there is no such thing—- as coincidences, that is? The “Light Colonel” was your quintessential “Alpha male”—-“Hercules type”—-“adrenaline junkie” all rolled into 6 foot 3 inches of a “lean mean fighting machine”—-“Delta Force type”—- “signed, sealed and delivered”! This young Officer and Gentleman was, also, one of America best and finest! He stood fearless, statuesque, with zero body fat, and most of all: poised for military service of any kind, and professional greatness! Officer Milk and Cookies had aggression oozing out of every or aphis of his gorgeously edible body, and had no issue with admitting it. He was just an ‘In Your Face” type of soldier—-the type you want on that damn wall—-no matter what!
Milk and Cookie’s intellectual and philosophical attributes were as beguiling as they were perilous—-in a sense. The young Officer was at the height of his military and professional career in 2010. He was the ripe old age of 40, and just right for the picking. Despite his age the young lad was rather accomplished, and highly competitive—Tulane undergraduate with honors—-Baylor and West Point Master Grad, accompanied by a host of other military schools, and he would later go on to attend Harvard Law while serving his country simultaneously! There was no stopping this carnivorous young beast of a soldier. I in turn became just as hungry professionally, psychologically, and physically. I was in such a dark mental and emotional place when our paths crossed…and he knew it! No one in this boy’s perimeter could resist pulling from themselves all that you had because every moment became a “battle of whits” with him. All you wanted to do was compete, at his and your own wills.
I did not open my mouth to the young LTC next door, about Kids promotion. Hell no! I had the wherewithal to know better than that. If he were to find out it would be on his own! You would think that would have been enough to stop the LTC across the hall in his tracks—–nothing could have been further from the truth! Oh, he was nervous once he saw the eagles on his advisory’s shoulders glistening in the morning sun….he was not that damn crazy. I knew the Colonel left just late enough for the LTC to see those Iron Eagles reflecting in the early morning light—-warning him in his unspoken voice: too fuck off! However, LTC Milk and Cookie’s fear dissipated with his determination—-he was young and brazen and foolishly felt just as powerful. It was then I realized that both gentlemen upgraded me from an insatiably desired woman to the “Crown Jewel” of their obsession, and I completely reveled in it oblivious to the emotional collateral damage and carnage awaiting us, just over the horizon. The only lesson LTC P and I would take away from this experience was simple──don’t ever under estimate the power of what he and his military colleagues call──”The Frozen Middle!” I am still plucking the icicles from my body to this very day!
However, there is nothing hotter or spicier on this earth than three intellectual neurotics struggling for power over the other! Every one brings to the table their A-game, and then some. However, what the LTC across the hall and I missed, or rather chose to overlook while we were overly indulging our every whim with one another was Colonel Kids own personal resolve. He had the fucking “patience of Job”—–and he would play a wicked game of “Chicken” with the both of us at the end—–which nearly lead to our complete mental and professional ruin! Moreover, the “Officer and Gentlemen” would be intrepid with his revenge towards us both! However, in reference to the LTC across the hall the “Full Bird Colonel” would not relent in his determination to remind that soldier of his rightful place—-reminding him to remember the “Cardinal Rule “of engagement when it comes to another Officer’s honor! We are lucky we both lived through it all!
I shall never forget for as long as we live the full weight of Colonel Kids “Iron Will”…”Iron Fist”…and “Iron Arm” of Honor! It nearly drove me to shear madness, but his merciful spirit towards me gave way to pity and saved me from the clutches of death by my own hands—-because my mind remembered the hurt that was in this man‘s eyes, and I was the trusted agent who put it there—-I alone!
In addition, I still cannot forget the long road I took to that awful place! We are all forever changed and damaged goods for life. Thanks to faith and intestinal fortitude for giving me the strength to come out of this with the will to live, and go on with my life. Moreover, thanks to the honor of the “Iron Eagle” for finally giving me the peace I seek and so desperately needed and he dressed it all up in forgiveness. Of all the players in this game—-he gave forgiveness to me—-I swear I did not deserve it. Still—-it did not stop me from seeking it from him. Forgiveness was the one thing I had to have knowing full well it would never fill the void I would feel every day of my natural born life going forward!!!! This Officer loved me with every fiber of his being, and gave up so much to be with me──only to have that love betrayed not once, but three times──yes three times──but the LTC across the hall was the worst of the lot! He was the worst because we hit far too close to home──literally—-and he did out of sheer insolence to his fellow Officer and jealousy!
What remains amazing to us all is how this entire sorted mess began one warm beautiful day in March of 2010—–I can state without any apprehension that the old saying is true….”March comes in like a Lamb—And marches out like a Lion!”