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The Desert's for Startin' Over

“Every man, woman, and child alive should see the desert one time before they die.”

I finally cheated on my diet. After about a month and a half of vigorously avoiding meat, the inevitable happened.

Sadly, it wasn’t even something sexy, like most of us “Broccoli Heads” cheat with. In truth, I understand that if/when we cheat, it’s almost invariably with “pork butts," or as the family down south call it: “fat back.”

I could have easily whipped out a pan and started frying last night; or even tonight. I regrettably assumed that my microwave ramen was fitting for my diet as long as I avoided the “nuke box” (microwave).

Little did I realize, completely avoiding meat and transitioning from a lifelong diet of omnivorous matter would be infinitely easier said than done.

Now that I think about it, remaining faithful and loyal may be two of my biggest challenges in life.

Ironically, I have always thought of myself as stubborn and steadfast.

Even fate has played a joke on me, it would seem, by gracing me with the signs of the bull and the ram. Respect to my folks, but I believe that I would just as soon forget my name as I would the word “cusps.”

In a more positive light, I finally “cheated” on my couch potato ways a few minutes prior to beginning this note. There was a spur of both determination and motivation to knock out no less than 25 pushups.

Looking back, I cannot believe that it took me this long. In all fairness, there was a prior attempt recently.

In keeping with the theme of follow through, I have even managed to write lists before walking into stores (especially retail giants). To quote Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu’s “Black Economics” (2002), “It is economic suicide to walk into any store without a list.”

In fact, I went as far as to make motivational/inspirational acronyms out of my lists, initially. Despite the relatively cryptic nature of lists, I am still pleased with the effort and energy put into said notes.

Coming to terms with the fact of the matter is a daunting task nonetheless. I have to make a conscious effort to live up to my favorite Army value: Integrity.

Arguably, the rest of them can be summed up in that single word. For all intents and purposes: Loyalty; Duty; Respect; Selfless-service; Honor; Integrity; and Personal courage (LDR-SHIP).

My class ring paid homage to Honor in more ways than one. The word was cut onto one side, while the top read, I believe, an unofficial Marine Corps motto: “Death Before Dishonor.”

In another light, the sky blue stone with the Army’s seal emblazoned therein was a twofer. As the seasoned Drill Sergeant once told my class, “It’s a small army; and an even smaller Infantry.”

I believe that his intent behind the admonishment was to have us strongly consider treating our fellow Grunts (Skyblue cord wearing badasses), if not the rest of our branch of service, with integrity.

To bring matters back to ways and means, I believe that I will make a point of making valid and valued points via my doings as opposed to mishaps.

While I admit that this note is about a decade past due, there’s reason to believe that another young, Black Grunt may benefit heavily from these rampant ramblings.

Remarkably, I only now realized that I neglected to declare what I betrayed myself with, in the aforementioned ramen: “chicken powder.”

I never even knew that was a thing, that is to say nothing of expecting it to be cleverly hidden in my noodles.

Well, while I don’t expect to be going raw vegan in the relatively near future, I will be the first to admit that I may never give up raw honey; especially if it’s sourced in a bee-friendly manner.

With a few exceptions, be friendly and mind manners.

(Initial quotes from Spike Lee’s classic “25th Hour” [2002].)

Read next: Who Is Jody?
Darrius Dickerson
Darrius Dickerson

(Former) Grunt that’s been stuck in traffic for the past 15 years, it seems; from DC to Seattle & Iraq, to back in The District. I love my Little Monster more than life itself. Born Day: 4/20.

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The Desert's for Startin' Over
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