Friday, December 22, 2006

27-28 April 1956

Dear Folks

Nine thirty & time for a quick if not too inspired letter. Spent most of the evening trying to polish my shoes.

As usually happens, it is now Saturday morning & the announcement has just come that mail closes out today at 1200 noon. It is now a race to see if I’ll make it or not.

The first two lines were all the further I got. Lloyd had been in, studying for his seaman test, & left to sweep his compartment. Coutre had stepped out for a cup of coffee, & all was still….For a moment, that is—then both Coutre & Lloyd came back, & we sat up till eleven; Cou working & me asking Lloyd questions from his seaman book.

Nick has been playing the role of St. Joan at the Stake & has succeeded in getting on everyone’s nerves, including mine. He has that "Oh, life is just too, too…" attitude. It is now about nine thirty, & he hasn’t said one single word since he came in at eight.. A day or two I can see—but this has been going on now long enough to get any psychiatrist interested. If he doesn’t snap out of it, he’ll crack up before the cruise is over.

Speaking of the cruise being over—let’s. Only forty more days & we’ll be heading for home--& only 106 before I get out. Oh, what a wondrous day that will be.

This is a lost cause, I can see—guess I’d just better give up & finish it tonite, even though it won’t go off today.

Just had a mail call—got three letters from you (20-23rd) & two rolls of film, which look like they should be excellent. It’s always so nice to get mail, especially since the office atmosphere resembles the least attractive aspects of the Okeefenokee swamp I am ashamed of myself for not having written sooner or more often, but the lethargy I’ve mentioned previously really gets at a person.

Tomorrow, praises be to Allah, is Sunday, which means I can sleep to my little heart’s content. This means one of two things—either I will wake up of my own accord about seven o’clock, or someone will do it for me by having a shouting contest. Oh, well, we shall see.

It was a nice day today—the sea a beautiful blue & the wind just a bit cold. The sun was a nice warm yellow & displayed an attractive sunset, the sleepy reddish-yellows reflecting from the surrounding ships & skimming the tops of the waves.

There are quite a few civilians aboard, with pot bellies & blueprints; trying to get some things straightened out before we come into the yards.

Many times I have bemoaned the neutral-grey if not the dullness of life at sea. True, there isn’t much to write about—the physical day doesn’t alter much, but there are variations, all of them mental, which make it not uninteresting. I read, & think (occasionally), & watch & listen. But at times I think of myself as a sort of blotter—I absorb, but it doesn’t do much good. Oh, well….
I am anxious to get back to college, because there I’ll be forced to work. I have, at times, all the will power & forcefulness of a three-toed sloth.

Nick has deigned to give us the honor of his exalted presence. Andy & I are the only mortals in the office. To Andy he speaks—I am only a part of the furnishings & not worthy of his notice. I’m not saying anything—two can play at his asinine little game; & I can play it longer. If he ever decides to come back to Earth, he will find that Roger doesn’t live here anymore. Coutre still tries cajoling him out of it—I’ve washed my hands. He’s named the tune—let him dance to it!

The book on mythology is long overdue at the library—until I hear from them, it will stay overdue. Conscience to the contrary, the vow I made when I left Pensacola still goes—anything that the Navy hasn’t got nailed down, I’ll take.

Subject—film, mailing of. It has been decided not to mail certain films home. There now being approximately twenty rolls, it would be impractical to mail them air-mail (not to mention expensive). And to place them in a box to lie in the bottom of some hot, stuffy hold on a ship would be unwise, as it would most likely end up as a wad of fused plastic & melted film.

For padding for dad’s binoculars, I have an ingenious idea. Coutre suggested last night that prior to discharge I stock up on a few items from Small Stores—namely, towels & pillowcases. The latter are a little small for civilian-type pillows, but the towels are excellent. They are Canon towels, & come in wash-cloth, regular, & bath sizes. They range in cost from 45 cents for the regular to 60 cents for the bath size (22x44"). I understand they are quite expensive on the "outside". How about it, mother? If you want, I can get tons of them—they can be dyed any color you wish.

Well, my dear parents, I shall try very hard not to be so negligent in the future. And with your kind permission, I will close

Your Obedient Son



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