It was my seventh week in Marine Corps boot camp.
While marching my tray to the table in the mess
hall, an apoplectic drill instructor
blocked my path. Camp, you fuckin’ numbnuts, why are you
stealin’ my food? Who told you could go through the line
twice! Denied permission to speak, I stood silent
as his spittle sprayed my uniform. When my drill
instructor appeared, a screaming clusterfuck ensued,
nearly ending in blows before my mumbled explanation.
My identical twin is here at MCRD,
a month behind me in training. Both refused to
believe me until a third DI returned with my twin.
Unfuckingbelieveable the trio said in unison.
In uniform we were more than identical,
we were one indistinguishable. They presented us, as
freaks, to the C.O. Taking pity on us, he
granted us ten minutes alone together.
It was the first and only kindness during boot
camp, having to last me the remaining eight weeks.
Roger Camp lives in Seal Beach, CA, where he tends a flower garden, walks his beloved Paris yearly, is apprenticed to a master mason, naps in a hammock, plays blues piano evenings and kayak fishes. His work has appeared in the Atlanta Review, North American Review, Pank and is forthcoming in the Tampa Review and Hopkins Review.