Saturday, January 13, 2007

8 June 1956

Dear Folks

The day began at 0430 with the cheery clamor of the GQ warning. This time I was ready for ‘em. I’d carefully placed a book under my rack, which I grabbed along with my socks & T-shirt. Thank God today was the last of these exercises (we hope).

No, I am not coming home early. Oh, well….

We have started wearing whites, & nice as they may be in the States, where a cleaning service pulls up to the dock every day, they do not go over so big with yours truly here in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. Already the pair I put on this morning looks like I’d been dragged through the streets.

Suda Bay tomorrow, operations with 13,000 Marines off Turkey from the 12th to 14th. Then a mad dash to make it to Genoa by the 16th.

You’ll probably be getting at least two letters today (your today, not mine); this one & yesterday’s. You’ve no doubt noticed they’re more or less in the same tone—namely a dull grey. If the Navy would stop playing its silly little games for long enough to make one definite statement & stick to it. Oh, well, all is not a bed of roses.

The Navy acts as an opium, deadening even the staunchest hearts, & blurring the brightest of eyes. This has its advantages—mainly that I have been counting the last 150 days of my enlistment; I am now down to sixty-five, & the preceding eighty-five have been just a "blah," each a carbon copy of the one before. Next time the Navy offers me a $10,000 cruise, I’ll ask for the cash instead.

Oh, there have been bright spots—ones I wouldn’t change for the world—but at the moment it is hard for me to look at it that way. From where I stand, boredom stretches away in all directions. I use the word "boredom" not exactly in Webster’s sense. There is always the partial escape of reading—but only the mind gets away; the body still sits in the same general position, acquiring a secretarial or middle-age spread without being either.

So, for a change, I get up—I walk around the office in my battleship greys, hands behind my back. I sit down. I look at the paper & see nothing but Sanskrit—a rather illegible Sanskrit at that
Mr. Clower has just come in—an MAA & a mess cook have been waiting for him. The mess cook’s name is Reuben Gimple. He has been placed on report so many times we’re thinking of starting a file on his report slips.

I feel a little better now—just got back from the library, where I read some halfway recent magazines & listened to some light music. Still nothing new or exciting. They had a mail call tonite, but it was a very small one, & I got what the little boy shot at.

Think I’ll go to bed & play solitaire. Love


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