Crazy Horse

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June 1, 1998

After the bicycle race, I retreated to my room. It was raining heavily and I'd gotten so wet and cold, I thought I might get sick. The situation with Ha was getting to me--I was very upset, almost paralyzed with the fact I had a situation over which I had no power. I hadn't spoken to her on the phone since April 4th or had a conversation on chat since late April, so on May 17, perhaps to get her attention or maybe to free myself to go on leave, or to feel I had some control, I emailed her to say I wasn't going to be around anymore. The next day I sent her a dozen roses. I know, I was nuts.
I was very depressed for two weeks, as if a part of me had died. I'd had a wonderful vacation planned with a wonderful lady in Belgium, and now I had no where to go for my vacation except to see my mother and future ex-wife in Virginia. My plans from December to race in Spokane, Washington never materialized because I became pre-occupied with Ha, and it was devastating. It was the first of many hard life-lessons, teaching me the result of making myself vulnerable to the opposite sex. I cried so much that night I lost my voice the next morning (the alcohol and falling and hitting my head in my room didn't help either) and could only whisper at work. Co-workers were concerned about me. The divorce was nothing compared to this. I dragged myself back and was slowly improving but the most embarrassing thing was the fact that although Ha and I had sent many photos and spoken on the phone and sent hundreds of pages of messages and chatted hours and hours, we'd never met in person. How could I tell anyone about this?

But there's more--Miimii (soon-to-be ex-wife), who said I could stay at the house during my vacation, suddenly changed her mind and wanted me to stay in a motel. She was afraid the lawyers would find out we were in the same house, and per Virginia rules, we had to be separated for a year to file for divorce. I told her it wasn't any of their f-ing business, because it wasn't, and because the snakes they call lawyers in Virginia only wanted to make money by turning us against each other and causing a court battle. We found the one lawyer who would not do that (a Christian, by the way). Mimi was paranoid, so concerned not to make waves. We fought through emails and phone calls, but I told her when I got back I was going to have a word with her f-ing lawyer. I deleted my entire ICQ chat buddy list (40 people) to see who would make an effort to contact me, to see who really cared.

One person who did come back was a sweet

I'm going to prove you all suck>>>
Michael...are you okay?>>> Malaysian lady, Angelina, someone I didn't even remember chatting with in the first place. We became buds--she was my 'psychologist'. I grew to depend on my internet friends for support and Angie was the biggest supporter.

In an awkward event, I was awarded an Air Force Achievement medal for my work at Langley AFB and when I found out, I told my boss, Matt, that I didn't want to go to the award ceremony, even if it meant not being decorated. I wasn't

concerned with the medal. He insisted I go, I obeyed, but on the way there I became lost and never showed up. Matt was angry, and when I showed up later at work, he said,"If I find out you missed that on purpose, I'm gonna kick your a-s!" I did actually get lost. I was having some mental problems at the time, a result of the depression. It later got worse.

To combat my sadness I tripled my bicycle mileage, and trained hard on the bicycle for the first time since I'd been in Korea, allowing no rest days to recover, intent on making myself as sick, numb, and tired as possible. I didn't want to feel any emotion. It worked. By June 1, I had a cold but was calm. My squadron begged me to run a 5 kilometer race on "Sports Day", an annual event where squadrons compete against each other to make their commanders and units look good. It was a big thing for us, and they knew I was doing well in my racing, so I was the obvious candidate to run. I said no, no, no, and then no, then absolutely not, and then, sick as a dog, tired from the bicycle miles, changed my mind. My entire squadron was there to see the ugly events unfold. I needed more ego points before I flew out to the United States on my month-long exile in Virginia.

My good friend Deena Myer shot these photos--thanks Deena! I was employing my subdued-clothing tactic, to make myself hard to see, and this particular shirt and shoes were the lightest and thinnest I owned. I rarely wore socks for short races--the tiny bit of extra reciprocating weight could cost me a race in a photo-finish. I forgot to take off the purple watch!
I pulled away on the first climb, the same climb that started the bicycle race weeks earlier, savoring the sound of panting and pain behind me. I tip-toed, knowing that going to hard in an uphill start would build lactic acid in my legs and make them stiff for the rest of the race. It seemed my challenge was to pace myself in the beginning and then go all out in the later parts of the race, so instead of pushing myself, I just concentrated on keeping up my leg speed. Cresting the hill, I didn't want to look back and give the the impression I was nervous, so I listened to the footsteps behind me on the fast downhill. They were going "pat...pat...pat" and I was going "pat.pat.pat.pat". It was obvious my stride was faster, and soon all I heard was my own footsteps and panting. I never looked back, wanting only to win by as much time as possible, to humiliate completely. I won by 2266 feet, or, 2 minutes and 50 seconds (the third place runner collapsed in exhaustion at the finish). The second place was also from my squadron so, we did very well that day, and I proved I was the best of the worst. Then I bought some doughnuts and flew out to the United States.

You're lucky I'm sick>>>