Tuesday, October 31, 2006

26 January 1956

A beautiful day, climatically if not emotionally. This morning we played a fascinating new game called "air your bedding." This happens about once every six or eight months. It was published in the Plan of the Day, that OR & S-2 divisions would air their bedding from 0800 to 1230. My compartment (C-2116) was to place their mattresses on the catwalks between frames 76 & 80. So I trundled my mattress under my arm & set out. And could I find frames 76 to 80? I could not. I went under the assumption that said frames would fall somewhere between 70 & 90—a wild guess. I found frame 98 & walked forward till I came to frame 32—something was wrong.

I felt like a perfect idiot wandering back & forth across the hangar deck dragging a mattress. To make matters worse, I was the only one so encumbered. First of all, the catwalks are just below the flight deck. I went up to the catwalks. They ended at frame 98—the No. 1 elevator interrupted the catwalks from running the full length of the ship. Oh, there were mattresses on the catwalks—dozens of them, hanging over the rails—a solid mass of mattresses, in fact, with no place for me to put mine.

It then dawned on me to try the other side of the ship Back to the hangar deck, & up to the catwalks again. I never did find frames 76 to 80, but found a vacant place on the railing & put the mattress over it, halfway expecting, with my usual luck, to see it slip over & fall into the sea, some four stories below.

That crisis had passed, but it somehow threw a damper on the rest of the day.

Again tonite I donned my blues with the intention of going to the movies & again changed my mind. I’m getting so I feel downright ashamed to wear these blues, but what can I do? Ah, for Cannes & a good cleaning service. On second thought, omit the word "good."

Ah, what have I done to Europe? You might almost get the idea that I didn’t like it, the way I rave on. Well, I don’t. I’m told it is just because we always hit sea towns, which are not the best Europe has to offer. Perhaps.

I can just see you now, running to cancel your reservations to Europe. Well, things may be better when you get here.---I doubt it.

Paris, it is true, was wonderful. Mostly, as I said before, because people realize it is Paris & act accordingly.

You, then, may find Europe to be the charming post card you believe it to be. You may find here the Seven Cities of Gold everyone seeks & no-one finds.

I leave you with this thought—if Europe is so wonderful, why are there so many Americans?

27 January 1956 (added to 26th)

Someone around here, while browsing through my drawers—while I wasn’t around, of course—found the handwritten copy of the 25th s journal. They spread the word around & everyone seemed to think it hysterically funny that I should feel proud to be a human being. Any resemblance some of those guys bear toward human beings is entirely coincidental.

Oh,well….Find it hard to concentrate because of the gab-fest going on here in the office.

Cold today, choppy sea, but bright & sunny.

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