The following is an excerpt from “El Toro” from my novel, Barrio Bushido. In tribute to the Marine Corps Birthday, November 10:
But what the fuck is a Marine? He shits his pants just like you. He has regrets and fear and pain, and he cries too. See, if I learned anything on those dark days, it was how to suffer with class. That’s what a Marine is: he’s a professional sufferer; he suffers for you and me and he don’t think about the shit. He suffers with a smile on his face. And I never wrote this down when I was going through it, couldn’t put it on paper, wouldn’t share my thoughts even with myself, didn’t have the strength or courage to think, cause you gotta understand that thinking, thinking in all its grandness, in all its beauty, in all its fuckin enlightenment kills you. Fuck critical thinking. It sucks you into hesitation. It grabs your fucking throat and chokes the instinct out of you. I couldn’t put my philosophy down on paper cause that would’ve meant I actually had such a thing; that I analyzed, pondered, meditated—but with bombs and black ash falling from heaven you die from the serenity of meditation. That shit is for the generals—for the fuckers sitting high and mighty chomping on cigars in little back rooms. They don’t get their hands dirty. They don’t sweat. That’s what they got the fuckin grunts for, so that they can rush them machine-gun nests and sleep like moles in little holes—cause if a mighty Marine THINKS—he aint gonna do what he has to do. He aint gonna jump on that grenade or charge in front of the bullet.
It’s beyond logic; that shit is beyond sense. What can make a man love that much? What force, what theory can give a man with a full life ahead of him the strength to fucking die on purpose? It’s the theory of stupidity, the theory of lunacy, the theory that this is my Bro on my side, my deepest homeboy that gots my back, would never let me down, OR, with more profound thinking, maybe he aint got my back; maybe, just maybe, he’ll leave me to die; maybe he’ll fucking split when the time comes, maybe I should throw his ass on the grenade, maybe…
BOOM. Everyone fucking dies. Maybe, just maybe, with all of them grand schemes running through that big grape of ideology everyone fucking dies cause everyone is a fuckin genius, and your smart ass is left smelling the red roses and green grass for eternity.