And, more good news, got a commission from another game company, this one in the UK--couple of interior illos to start, so that we can get used to each other. It's a short deadline, only three weeks, and I'm a little nervous--not that I won't get 'em done, which I of course will, but the basic jitters you always get with a new company--will they like it, can we work together, will they hold up their end, etc. Details forthcoming once it's all established--don't wanna jinx it!
And then there's the bad news, which unfortunately eclipsed all the rest completely...my friend Derek, the Marine, with the 2nd Expeditionary Whatsit has been moved out of Kuwait and into combat, to reinforce the first wave. This would be nerve-wracking enough--he's a rookie, my age, that I went to college with, he's never seen action, and goddamnit, it's Derek who's my friend and crashed on my couch for a month and loves Star Wars and played Shadowrun with us for years and has so many flaws and personal failings that I can't even begin to enumerate them but I love the stupid bastard anyway and spent hours coming up with silly, complicated conversations with him, and he's always been a good friend and we had an almost eerie mental connection on a fairly evil level--the joke is that we must've met in a past life as Inquisitors during the Spanish Inquisition--and I really really really don't want him to die. And I was pretty calm because the original plan was evidentally that they were to come up and reinforce the troops holding Baghdad once it'd been taken, which isn't what you'd call safe, but certainly beats the front. But now the city's not being taken, and it looks like they're been moved in to reinforce the people trying to take it, which means that, God forbid, Derek could be involved in street fighting inside the city itself, and that's terrible. He's a sniper, so hopefully he won't ever get the enemy actually close on him, but he's probably gonna have to actually kill people, and I'm afraid for what that's gonna do to him. Hell, I'm just afraid, period. I told the stupid bastard not to join the Marines, and he did it anyway, out've a desire to be a macho alpha male type (seriously, that was his reason) and I doubt he ever thought there'd be a war. Well, now he's getting his chance to be gung-ho, and I hope to god it doesn't kill him. This isn't some tough professional soldier, oozing competence, cognizent of the risks, fighting out've love of country and dedicated morals, whatever the stupid propaganda is, this is a bloody idiot! A man who once got demoted for leaving his post to go get a candy bar! A man who attempted to get honorably discharged for showing up to manuevers hammered! And he's MY bloody idiot, and whatever flaws he's got and stupid ideas he had about joining the military, he really doesn't deserve THIS!
I am furious at everyone involved impartially for being either evil (Saddam) stupid (Derek) or both (Bush). I know I'm mad because I'm scared, and I deal with being scared by being mad, but I just want to throttle someone. Lacking people to throttle, I'm storming around the house growling "Stupid fucking (fill in name)!" and trying not to cry, which I'm sure makes me a dreadfully fun person to be around right now. This sucks. It would still suck just as bad if my friend wasn't there, but being only human, I can mostly see things filtered through my own particular misery. And this sucks.