20 March 1956
I’ll start this letter, but know it will be a short one, for any minute now Cou will come roaring in the door & we shall all begin running around like something out a Max Sennett (spelling) chase scene.
Tomorrow, one hundred & sixty-eight tons of food will pass from one ship to another—the Ti on the receiving end, for a change. I’ll have to get up at 0500 for the occasion, though I’d as soon stay in bed.
We are, supposedly, operating with NATO forces in some sort of exercise, though I haven’t seen a single ship other than ourselves.
It has suddenly become 2030 (8:30 p.m.) & I’m still waiting for something to do. No doubt the fun will start around 9:00, & the festivities will stretch far into the night. I may not even bother going to bed tonite—who knows.
Just sitting here, picking my nose (a nasty but necessary habit if I wish to breathe), wondering what to say next. Something will probably come up.
Daydreaming of coming home again. Neither of you are home from work yet—I unload the car, play with Stormy, & spread all my gear all over the living room, like one of those shops over here.
I’m still debating on whether to send my film home or not. I have a dread fear of them being lost in the mail. Yet if I send them to you, it will be like you were there, too—God knows I’ve got to do something with them—I’ve got 15 rolls now. Oh, well….
If, when we get to either Valencia or Barcelona, they have a tour to Madrid, I’m going to take it. I regret not having much money saved, but can you blame me? Sure wish I had enough to go to Venice!
Took a little time off this evening, earlier, to read some more poetry. I really enjoy some of it—Omar Khayam’s translations & Robert Browning especially. These guys make me feel terribly inferior—I just don’t have the "word power." Oh, I’ve got it all right—you ask me what a word means & two times out of five I’ll give the right definition, but putting it on the other hand—when I know a definition I’ll be damned if I can think of the word I want.
My cold, if not a topic of interest at least one to fill up space until something more intelligent shows up, is still with me. The scene on the Throat front finds the cold moved down to where my neck branches out & becomes my shoulders. Here it is apparently making a last-ditch stand, with the result that every time I swallow, I have the uncomfortable feeling of something being wedged there. There is also a sensitive spot directly above it so that every time I breathe it tickles & I am forced to cough. I tried solving this by not breathing (read in this morning’s "paper" that a guy held his breath for 10 minutes & some seconds. It must have been a lovely funeral), but it didn’t work—which just goes to show what habit will do to you.
Oh, yes—the ship has affected "water hours"—water is turned on only during certain hours. We’ve been gone from home now for almost five months, & never had to worry about it before.
But suddenly everybody "has been exorbitantly wasting water" & they slammed it into effect.
Of course, it has nothing to do with the fact that some knucklehead allowed salt water to get into two of our fresh water storage tanks (mentioned it when we were in Beirut).
Just think—after tomorrow we’ll have some food on board! Real American-type food. Which reminds me…
It’s now twenty till ten & still nothing. Now I’m sure I’ll be up all night. Well, back to poetry. More tomorrow.