15 January 1956
I’m hungry—a physical state I find myself in most of the time. Only ate two meals today: brunch & supper, & neither one of them held me for very long. Earlier this afternoon I nibbled on some toast left over from brunch; wish I had some now.
Went to the first movie on the hangar deck. Two gigantic steel electric sliding doors can divide the hangar deck into three sections, in case of emergency—the forward doors are closed most of the way, & in this section movies are held; they can seat up to 1,500 or 2,000. The movie started early, about ten till six, & they had a funny cartoon, for a change.
At six o’clock every evening, they announce "Attention to colors," as the flag is being lowered on the fantail. The movie had just begun when the whistle blew, & 1,000 men stood up, turned around, & stood at attention. It was very impressive. I always get a kick out of mass actions.
Tomorrow we put out to sea again for five days—we also get paid. I think I’ll leave my money on the books until I absolutely have to have it.
Mail call this morning, much to my delight. Got three letters from home—all from Mother. She asked if I’d received the fifteen dollars she sent; I thought I’d thanked her before for it.
I still wonder how Pepys & Boswell did it—they wrote pages & pages, all of it in pattern; containing some of the most elaborate conversations. Unfortunately, when I attempt to write dialogue, everyone talks exactly as I do.
Sitting at Mr. Clower’s desk & just had a terrific struggle with the desk tray I’m now writing on. Is it called a "desk tray"?—Anyway, it’s a part that slides out from over the drawers on the right hand side, used for an arm rest, or putting things while typing, or anything.
You know, this isn’t really a journal—they’re more "thoughts at random"—and they are about as random & disjointed as anyone would care to get.
It frustrates me to think I may not be the genius I think I am. There, now—four I’s in one sentence. That’s nearly a record, isn’t it?
Frankly, Roger, who gives a damn what you do or think. Everyone is much too busy living their own lives—it’s a full time job—to care anything about you.
Ah, now I’m getting bitter again. I think I have definite masochistic tendencies—I enjoy tormenting myself. I’ve always been like that—I’ll make a mistake on the typewriter & it will get me angry, & so I’ll erase very hard & possibly tear the paper or smudge it with the eraser, & then I’ll hit the keys as hard as I can in that slow, maddening "don’t go too fast—the boy is an idiot, you know" fashion & in no time I’ll make another mistake, which will be much worse, since I’m hitting the keys too hard, & I’ll get into a positive rage & rip the paper from the machine, swear vehemently (which always startles Nick), tear it & the carbon paper to shreds, & throw it into the wastebasket or on the floor. Happily, these moments are few & far between.
Eight "I"’s in that one.
That is wrong, you know, telling people your faults—it only draws their attention to them. As Stu Iversen used to say: "Roger, you keep telling us how inferior you are until pretty soon we get to believe it."
See what I mean by masochism?
Well, it wouldn’t do any good to tell anyone how marvelous I am because no one will believe it, least of all me.
I’ve come to the conclusion that today’s sermons on the evils of Margasonism is because, unlike Ching-Chong, my belly is empty. For this supposedly being the mess decks, there is nothing around to eat. Oh, well—my hand grows too weak to hold a pen. Till tomorrow….