привожу несколько первых глав в сокращенном варианте ( англ ). возможно, кому-то понравится...
Anthony Swofford. Jarhead,2003
“ This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My rifle is my best friend. Without me, my rifle is nothing. Without my rifle, I am nothing…’
The man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war, and afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory and he believes he’s finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands – love a woman, build a house, change his son’s diaper – his hands remember the rifle.
While at Barracks Duty School I realized that joining the marines had been a poor decision, for the first time in my life actually referring to underwear as skivvies, pants as trousers, a hat as a cover. So now, my hands were dickskinners, the mouth was a cum receptacle, running shoes were go-fasters, a flashlight was a moonbeam, a pen was an ink stick, a bed was a rack, a wall was a bulkhead, a bathroom was a head, a shirt was a blouse, a tie was still a tie, and a belt a belt, but many other things would never be the same.
I performed morning calisthenics, cleaned my weapons, shot my rifle, shotgun, and pistol expertly, and then, during the sixth week of barracks-duty training, the captain called me to his office.
There ‘s been a budget cut, and the school had to rid of three trainees and send them to the infantry, the Fleet Marine Force, the ready combat force of the Marine Corps. Now, rather than standing guard duty in my handsome uniform, in front of a navy nuclear or missile facility, I’d be doing what I was supposedly made for – humping up steep mountains or through thick jungles with a hundred pounds on my back, sweating and cussing in my wrinkled fatigue, with a large target on my chest: USMC GRUNT.
At boot camp, during in-processing, I’d confined to using drugs, something I hadn’t disclosed prior to signing my enlistment contract. Part of the reason I’d spoken up was that, on the third day of boot camp, I wanted. More than anything, not to be in boot camp. I’d slept six hours in two days; they’d shaved my head and insulted me with hundreds of spectacularly profane phrases. I wanted to go home and screw my girlfriend and paint houses for my father and drink beer with my buddies.
I spoke to the colonel about my drug revelation. I hoped he’d send me home. But he ordered me to perform one hundred push-ups. He said he thought I’d be a good marine someday.
During the long bus ride to Camp Pendleton, I confirmed for myself that joining the Marines had been a mistake. At a breakfast stop in Bakersfield, I considered fleeing, but decided this was my lot, to serve, and I would handle it like a man – I would do my duty wherever they might send me, accomplish all missions, honor my contractual obligations.
I spend my first few days at Camp Pendleton in the base hospital, faking a stomach flu. I chewed Ex-Lax gum and this kept me shitting and dehydrated. A few times a day, I sneaked away to the hospital café and ate their good hamburgers and meat loaf; though I knew the food was not long for my body, I relished the almost civilian flavors.
I arrived at Seventh Marine headquarters early on a Monday morning. Marines ran all around the place, saluting and shouting and cussing. I was assigned to the second Battalion. The battalion had just returned from predeployment leave, and they’d be departing in three weeks on a West-Pac, a six-month training tour of Okinawa, the Philippines, and Korea. The duty staff sergent who checked me in was a short, harsh man. Most of his ribbons were for individual valor in Vietnam. As he looked over the battalion roster, deciding which grunt platoon to send me to, he spoke through his cigar.
‘Swofford. What kind of fucking name is that? ‘
‘It’s English, Staff Sergeant.’
‘Swofford, you are a goddamn Marine Corps grunt. You are the most savage, the meanest, the crudest, the most unforgiving creature in God’s cruel kingdom. You are a killer, not a goddamn bugle player. That bugle shit is from the movies. You ain’t Frank Fucking Sinatra.’
‘Aye, aye, staff Sergeant.’
‘You’re in Third Platoon, G Company. Third is full of drunks and half-wits. May be you can bring some respectability to the sons of bitches.’
‘Thanks, Staff Sergeant.’
‘Don’t thank me. Just don’t fucking die.’
I retrieved my gear and the G Company duty sergeant told me I was assigned to room 325, with Private Bottoms and Private Frontier. I entered the room and saw a large crowd gathered around an unmade rack, my rack. One marine was biting his fist as another used a propane torch to heat wire hangers bent to form the letters USMC. I dropped my gear and watched.
Someone said, "Fucko is here." When the hangers pulsed red-hot, the branding marine shoved the four-letter contraption against the other marine's outer calf. The marine bit his fist until he broke skin and began to bleed. Tears streamed from his eyes and the room filled with the dank stink of his flesh. I vomited into the shitcan and the room erupted in cheers. Before I could speak, the men piled on top of me and bound my hands behind my back with an electrical extension cord and gagged me with dirty skivvies.
The marine at the torch reheated the hangers, and as he did, flesh and hair from the prior man smoked ofl the metal. At first I struggled and then I did not. The burning-hot metal was extremely painful, but the psychological tumult of the morning took over, from battalion bugler to Fucko, and the pain slowly receded and a deep euphoria took over. The smell of my own burnt leg-flesh did not make me ill, in the same way a man can smell his own shit and not mind the stench, while the smell of another man's waste is vomitous. I was in the stink and the shit, the gutter of the Marine Corps, the gutter of the world, and I knew I had made a mistake, but perhaps I'd discover ME in the gutter, perhaps I'd discover ME in the same way cen¬turies of men had discovered themselves, while at war, while in the center of the phalanx, drowning in the stink and the shit and the rubble and the piss and the flesh.
The men left the room and I fell asleep and didn't wake until it was dark and the man named Frontier untied and ungagged me and offered me a plate of food and a bottle of whiskey to drink from. I reached down to feel my branding wound but my skin was smooth. My branding had been a fake; they'd placed a cold piece of metal against my skin. Frontier said, "That's a little fuck-fuck trick we play on the new guys. Someday you'll rate a branding. You gotta pull some shit before we brand you."