Don’t Iggy Me

I like Iggy Azalea I think because I identify with her.

Two feet in the red dirt, school skirt
Sugar cane, back lane
3 jobs took years to save
But I got a ticket on that plane
People got a lot to say
But don’t know shit bout where I was made
Or how many floors that I had to scrub
Just to make it past where I am from

Other than the fact that I wore very few school skirts, her story while not exactly like mine really resonates with me. They are mirrors.

I got on a plane for the US Army when I was just over 18 years old. I came from nowhere, from a white trash family. Everyone told me I would be a failure, even some of my “friends” and nearly all of my family. That I was crazy. That I didn’t have what it took to do what I wanted to do.

Fuck them, I think, as I make it through basic training.

It’s 1995. I’m standing in line at Fort Bragg, NC. But there are two lines. One is for the people who are going to be paratroopers. I’m in the line for non-paratroopers because that’s where I’ve been assigned.

I look at my line. I look at the other line. “The people in my line look like losers,” I say to myself.

I find a person in charge. “How do I get into the paratrooper line?”

“You want to be a paratrooper, soldier?” the sergeant asks.

“Honestly I don’t know but I don’t want to be in that loser line,” I say.

He laughs. “Then get in the other line, soldier, you’ve already got what it takes!” It was then that I notice the jump wings on his chest.

I get in the other line, and then I pass airborne school though I was dead fucking sick nearly the whole time.

Fuck them, I think as I get the silver wings pinned on my chest.

Yeah, Iggy, I know what you are talking about. I know it.