Having checked all of the mandatory boxes for training at Camp Atterbury, Indiana, they saw fit to grant us some down time. I wasted no time hopping on the first thing smoking to return to see Muna and Taj.
Have you ever anticipated something so much that your senses joined in to enhance the experience? For example, have you ever really wanted to eat your favorite food, and during the craving felt like you could taste or even smell it? Or, do you remember taking those hearing tests, where they put the headphones on you and ask you to raise your hands when you hear a beep? After a while, you weren’t really sure if you actually heard a beep or if your ears were just playing tricks on you because you KNEW a beep was coming. Anything like this every happen to you? It happened to me today.
Muna planned to pick me up at the airport. Once my plane landed, I called her while I was waiting at baggage claim so she could meet me. Even though she hadn’t arrived yet, I swear I could smell her Dolce Gabbana perfume through the phone. Maybe it was just me really wanting to see her again, but I smelled her perfume from the time I hung up the phone until the moment she drove up to meet me … all the while the smell was getting more intense until we hugged, at which time I mentally confirmed that the smell she was wearing was the same scent I thought I smelled earlier. Nice … A little eerie, maybe, but nice.
Taj was in school when my plane arrived, so he didn’t see me at the airport. I waited until he was to be released from school, then went there to surprise him when he came out. Likewise, I thought I could hear Taj laughing from inside the building, even though I was waiting outside. The giggling little man that came rushing out to me with open arms was making the same noise I thought I heard while I was waiting for him outside. Again, eerie, but nice.
Some battle-hardened veterans will tell you that out of all the things they remember about their combat experiences, the smell is one of the things that haunts them the most. Some say they can still smell the combat … the gun powder, the dirty air, the Humvee fumes, etc. Maybe their senses were being fine-tuned to aid in their survival. I wonder if their senses are still working in overdrive now, much like mine were today when I met my wife and son again after a long time apart.
When I’m in the ‘stan, I hope the smell of gunpowder doesn’t overpower my wife’s perfume. And, I hope the sound of a moving convoy doesn’t drown out the sound of my son’s laughter. I’m hoping I can keep those sensory signals active for as long as I can while I’m there …
Anyway, today was GREAT. We took Taj to his last T-Ball game of the season, then grabbed some Thai food for dinner. I played the Wii with him (which we used to do all the time before I left,) and Muna and I played catch-up as the evening came to an end.
However, I was bummed to learn that she hadn’t been starting my car for me routinely, as I had asked. (It had dead battery and wouldn’t start.)
I’m not sure what tomorrow has in store for me, but just knowing that none of it involves Camp Atterbury, I’m lovin’ it already, whatever it is.