10.25. My quarters. Pablo Picasso was born on this date (1881). As was John Berryman, and curiously both Rob Halford and Glenn Tipton from Judas Priest, born a year apart. Col. ______ arrives next week for a full inspection. I must trot out the trainees for a dog-and-pony show. I’ve been coaching them and it’s an ugly business. I’m not sure what they do to these people before they ship them out here but something’s not right. It’s as if their spirits have been taken, their wills pulverized to fine powder by a surgical pestle.
10.27. In the middle of nowhere. Felix the Cat was born today in 1917. The trainees exasperate me. This godforsaken project will be the end of me, one way or another. Either the Colonel will perceive my incompetence and have me removed, or I’ll do it myself. When I do sleep now I never dream. I wake exhausted, stifling in this stale bunker air. I rush from my quarters out through security into the still-dark desert and fill my lungs with air to make it through another day. It’s never enough.