Wednesday, 14 September 1955 AD
This is the fourth draft of a letter begun late Monday night; I never got more than a paragraph or two into them when something would drive me away or distract me by one thing and another. But I’ll try to finish this one. I’ve got to take a shower & wash my hair tonight, but it’s only eight o’clock, so I’ll have plenty of time.
On the very rare occasions when I find myself with nothing to do, I’ve discovered that that is just the trouble—I have nothing to do. I can’t even go out & play in the yard.
Mail arrived on board today, which came as a very happy surprise, especially when I got your "goodies" package. Thanks a lot. I’m sitting all alone in the office, munching on the apricots.
I’ve turned out to be quite the little office worker. Though it isn’t at all bad, I can’t see spending my life at it.
Working right next to a galley has its advantages—you can always get something to eat if you want it badly enough. The late cooks (on duty until wee hours of the morning) are always around, & when we work late, too, we can go down & get ham & eggs, milk, sandwiches, & stuff. And the bakery is just a little ways away, & furnish pleasant smells, with an occasional cookie or two.
The ship has the unpleasant habit of rolling from side to side, very slowly—just enough to notice it out of the corner of your eye. If you look closely, you can see that people are walking slightly out of perpendicular. (Drawing of hatch doorway w/stick figure at a 45 degree angle) Well, not that bad, but that’s the general idea. Gad; study that drawing carefully—what dignity—what artistry of lines—those exact features, correct to the smallest detail—the subtle shadings! Oh, I’ll bet Rembrandt would be terribly jealous if he could see it.
I remember the only thing I ever did draw perfectly was a silhouette of Abraham Lincoln, in sixth grade. We were given a choice of drawing a squirrel or Mr. Lincoln. I drew the squirrel, but Miss Hines didn’t know that, & I didn’t tell her. Dear Miss Hines—remember her? How many times did Dad have to come up & have a little man-to-monster talk with her? I’ll never forget the famous "Did Lonitta Throw the Bean That Hit Miss Hines on the Eyeglass Or Did She Not?" case. Miss Hines never forgave Lonitta for that. And the only time I ever skipped school. I asked Miss H. for permission to go to the bathroom & never came back. There were about five of us, & we wandered around, & went over to Lillian Anderson’s trailer for awhile, then I decided to go to the show, so I walked home, strolled casually in & asked mom for some money. I don’t remember what happened then—probably have a mental block against it. Ah, those were the days.
As for the money belt, mom—I can use it, I’m sure. Blues do have pockets, but whites don’t. And thanks a lot for the film money—it financed my last weekend in town.
The scotch blood in me is trying to figure out if I should mail this now & take the chance of having it sit till we get to some port, or letting it collect & mailing it in one lump sum later. Oh, heck, I’ll splurge & mail it now.
P.S. 335 More Days!
P.P.S. Now that I’m a mess cook, change my S-1 to S-2 Div. O.K.? G’nite