Trapped In 40 Years Ago

January 3, 2015 at 10:59 pm Leave a comment

I’m way far from being the only Nam vet who’s having trouble with these days.  I remember precisely 40 years ago, actually longing for the ship to pull out to sea, so that I could find solitude and silence.  The sound of the wind, both the “real” (what I would have felt had the ship laid at rest) or that generated by our passage, the sound of the water against the hull or of the occasional tramp hitchhiker (those who live at sea know far more than their illusions of beauty lent by flight–and, many of us,  just how precious such illusions are) the seagull–didn’t count.  The other sailors passing by and politely ignoring me could hardly count for company.  There were more of us by far than the Navy would have been comfortable with.  But we did our jobs and fled in silence.  Puncturing that silence would have been deadly, not dangerous; they even had the statistics to show it.  You can’t run from memories.  I couldn’t run from them at the time they were being formed, I couldn’t stop researching and I couldn’t help being mortally sickened by each word I read and especially the patterns they formed.

The most excruciating thing was something they could never notice.  They had no sense of pride or honor.  They would lie for convenience.  And either they were in charge of me or I joined them, which they wanted.

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About Nuclear Midnight First An Entry About 1972

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