Friday, December 01, 2006

22 March 1956

Dear Folks

Having eaten just enough shoe-string potatoes to make me never want to see one again, it now comes time to sit down & write today’s entry into the "journal," while my stomach decides whether it wishes to be uncomfortable or not.

A mail call today helped brighten the entire week, even if there was only one letter; plus one from Lief.

Life on the bounding main may have been exceedingly attractive & adventurous at one time, & offered innumerable journalistic possibilities, such as storms at sea, dissension & mutiny among the crew, pirates, scurvy, & sadistic captains. But today, roaming the innards of a 43,000 ton whale, things are different. Storms? We have them occasionally, at which time they are fascinating. But an aircraft carrier lacks some of the cork-like qualities of wooden ship. Dissension? Lot of it, but hardly the type wherein the crew cares to mutiny—& if it did, where could one hide an aircraft carrier? Scurvy? The Chief has a fit if we have less than half a ton of lettuce on board.

Onward & onward & onward. Tomorrow San Remo, Italy. According to reports, it can’t be too much—its main industry being the cultivation of flowers. In a way, that is good—that way perhaps some of us can save money. Being located almost exactly between Nice & Genoa, the "girls" of both cities will no doubt drop over, to renew old friendships & make new ones.

For some of the men on this cruise, their tours of Europe have been limited to the distance between Fleet Landing & the nearest bar.

After reading mother’s letter, I have decided 1) not to live "off campus" & 2) not be a school teacher.

It is now nine-fifteen. The office is unusually still, with only the sounds of the ship (soft hums & purrs & the tingling vibration). Around me, two chairs by Mr. Clower’s desk—in "railroad" fashion—on the first the book of poetry, open to page 1185 & beneath it a dictionary. The telephone, with its hook on backwards (no wonder it’s been so quiet). On the desks, two stained coffee cups, several ashtrays with the mangled bodies of cigarettes—many, many papers, all scattered about, very un-military; one pair of shoes in Coutre’s basket (under "Incoming"); one glass of pencil stubs of varying sizes & sharpness); & one can of "Betty Lou Shoestring Potatoes"—oogh!

Tomorrow is also Friday—field day—when the office will be cleaned & scrubbed so that no one will come in and look at it, anyway. Well, it needs cleaning. This will be the first time in three weeks.

Now, with your kind permission, it is time to close.



P.S. Did you notice, not a single "first person" (excluding three "me"’s).

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