Life at a boot camp in Dreamland.

This week I begin one of the most difficult weeks of my life in a boot camp to try getting my life back on track after a series of unfortunate detours.

Yesterday was check-in day into what will be my home for the next 7 days. I was told I would only be allowed to spend $10 for my morning meal and another $10 for dinner. That’s when I got a hunch that I was about to lose some weight.

I also had to produce a small pocket knife as part of my personal inventory from home. I brought two of them as I could not decide on which one to bring. I had to engrave my name on the blade of the knife I would use. At the last second, I decided on the second knife, a small Swiss army knife but with many of its tools missing except for the blade itself. That would have to do.

Then there was drill sergeant Dejarak, whom I found extremely brutal and sadistic. He had a friendly face but it seemed just about anything would ignite his firey temper. Try as I might, avoiding him for a week turned out to be wishful thinking.

After we were checked in, we were placed in a hot, stuffy room to watch an extremely long movie with violent battles, graphic sex scenes beyond perversion, and extremely tasteless pranks (How could they get away with the one involving feeding bits of sausage-touched bacon to a pug?)

Then there was a scene in the movie where some men bought the 7-Up Company for only $5. Dejarak turned to the recruits and asked, “Does everyone understand why?”

“Because the ingredients were cheap?” I offered.

“SHUT YOUR FUCKING MOUTH!” Dejarak screamed. Maybe this man never had a good side.

This morning, however, things began to go awry. I don’t know how it happened, but I got separated from my squad. This boot camp had literally hundreds and hundreds of squads, and I became lost and confused as I desperately tried to find my way back. It seemed that the more I tried, the more lost I became. Dejarak will not be pleased.

It’s going to be a long week.

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