Notes of the Past

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phillip aubin

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March 12, 2013
Veteran's Medical Clinic, somewhere in Washington D.C.

The sky outside was dark and cloudy, a light drizzle of liquid falling from the sky and peppering everything. A figure in Desert Digital MCCUU's with a tan ball-cap sporting an American flag patch walked up to the doors of a Veteran's Medical Clinic, the door opening as the glass shone and reflected whatever light made it though the clouds. The large male made his way across the tile floors, sand-colored boots producing light squeaks until the water was mostly gone from it's soles, only reduced to a bass-filled tapping sound as the man made his way through the empty halls.
The place the empty, dimly-lit, and ominous, but very modern for the time, the lighting to accommodate for other types of injuries, mostly to people affected with UV and light sensitivity. On the secondly level of the complex, the white walls would transition to a lavender color, use of colors to effect the moods of the persons coming to this area, it was the mental health department after all. A dark blue door would open with a squeak as the man in the Desert Digital Camouflage entered room 205MD, the hydraulic sounding with a light hiss and it pulled the door closed, the click echoing through the empty halls.
A man waiting in the room looked up to the Marine that entered the room, his face wrinkly and his head balding with a poor attempt of a comb-over, wearing a dark gray suit and tie and sitting behind a large black wooden desk with a gloss coating over it. Papers and documents strewn about the surface with a flat-screen monitor for a computer on one of the corners, it's wiring disappearing into the hole behind the mount. “Lieutenant, please, take a seat.” he would say to Phillip Aubin. His voice old and winded, slightly raspy, much you'd expect of a sound from an old man as himself. “Thank you Mr. Reddenson.” Aubin would reply, sitting in one of the cheaply constructed chairs in front of the old man's desk that creaked under Aubin's weight. “How are your ankles feeling?” Reddenson would ask as his tik-takked on the keyboard of the computer, making smalltalk, “Not like they'd get any better than they are now.” Aubin would respond, leaning forward and his elbows on his knees, his hands interlocked by the fingers and his chin placed atop his knuckles, his dark, hazel eyes staring at the reflection of the computer screen on the old man's glasses.
A final tap on the keyboard would reduce the screen of the computer to darkness, Reddenson grabbing a clipboard and standing to his feet with a groan, making his way around the desk to Aubin after grabbing his cane, Aubin would stand as both men would shake hands. “Please follow me.” the old man would respond, both men entering a room with large brown bookshelves lining the walls, filled with various books on Psychology and other subjects of mental predictions and health, a single chair and lounger in the center, like you saw in the movies. “Take a seat, lay down, whatever right there.” the old man would say, a wrinkly, shriveled-up finger pointing to the lounger as he made his way to a big, cushy chair, Aubin laying in the lounger and getting comfortable. . . Or trying to.
A few taps and scratches of pen to paper would fill the room with ambient noise, the old man clicking record on a small recorder, “Case 09716B2, Jeremiah Reddenson and Lieutenant Phillip Aubin. Alright Lieutenant, lets start from the beginning, your first traumatic experience during deployment.” He'd say, looking up from his clipboard to Aubin, whom sighed. “Well, let's see now. . .”

Date: November 2002
“Let's move ladies, grab your packs and sacks, we ain't got all day now!” Staff Sargent Knoxx would yell from the .50 Cal turret of the M2 HMG on the HMMWV. Aubin would be found running with another four men to the vehicle that already had a driver, passenger and Knoxx inside it, an M249 slung on his body along with the Ballistic vest and other equipment he carried. Aubin was 18 and the time and a grunt in the Marines, Private First-Class, E-2, PFC, however one likes to see it. The men would pile in like some sort of clown car, hot as snot inside the lightly armored vehicle. It was simple, head out to the nearby town, do some patrols, then RTB for some chow. But as it turns out, nothing can be simple.
“Covering fire! Wallace, get him the fuck out of there, he's still alive goddammit!” was all Aubin heard besides the ringing in his ears and the gunfire erupting around him. Everything hurt and ached, blood coated the left side of his head with an open gash on the left side of his forehead and a piece of steel was lodged in his Kevlar, he was lucky there. Opening his eyes would be the corpse of one of the other Marines, eyes staring right at his, the legs on the body missing along with one of the arms. Then suddenly a hand would grab the handle above the CamelBak on the rear of his vest and pull with a grunt from Wallace, Charlie Team's Designated Marksman, the dead torso falling off and Aubin hitting the ground by the mangled, smoldering HMMWV with a groan of pain. Then suddenly, a wild SSgt. Knoxx would appear, “Congratulations, you just survived your first IED, now get the fuck up and get some suppressive fire downrange!” He'd yell in Aubin's face who was still shell-shocked, by both the explosion and the look in the dead eyes of that Marine that was on top of him, a soulless stare. The taste of gunpowder on his tongue and the sound returning to his ears, the distinct sound of cracks from AK bullets flying past them and the cling of 7.62 and 5.56 shell casings hitting the ground.

Tik-taks and scratching would be heard again as Reddenson would write down the last of what Aubin told him, “That's the last of it unless you want to hear about the whole firefight, three dead in that vehicle and one other during the battle in Alpha Team, it was their medic, was quite a loss to them.” Aubin would finish, his eyes were just as soulless as the dead Marine's in his memory. Reddenson would nod, an uneasy look on his face, both from the imagery and the look in Aubin's eyes, “A-Aright then,” Reddenson would begin, “come back next week and we'll go event-by-event.” he'd say with a smile, but not getting one in return as Aubin went straight for the door. He never liked talking about those events, but this therapy bullshit was mandatory.
The door of the clinic would open again, the rain having stopped the cloud remaining, the figure in the MCCUU's stepping out and going back down the street from whence he had first come, hands stuffed in the packets of the pants and head looking down at the ground before him, a distinct ball-cap with an American flag on it covering his head. Likely heading back to the Barracks at base, already knowing his discharge papers were in the works, and no idea where he would go after wards.

March 25, 2014
That was pretty much a year ago, Aubin having uncovered a notebook from his cache of belongings he kept in an undesignated location out of Hathian, displaying his therapy sessions and notes from the people who were nice enough to sit down with him. But that was only the fist of many other sessions, remembering in vivid detail the occurrence as he read the notes. The Lavender walls, the dim hallways, the attempted comb over, the event he told on that particular meeting, everything.
Putting the contents of the cache in a black sack, journal included, maybe write in that journal sometime. He'd sling the pack on himself and make his way to a bus stop around the corner, 'Hathian' marked in LEDs on the bus, Aubin had a job there at the FDH but other than that had no idea why he was returning, but he always did, no matter what. He'd step on the bus and pay the fee for the ride, plopping down in the seat with the black sack next to him, on his way back 'home'.

March 26, 2014 at 9:19 am
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