(November 29, 2018)
Began ‘The Practice’
of post-midnight pee that time:
not a comfort still!
Later, I did stop smoking
though still I whizz at The Door!*
*(I woke just after 3 a.m. December 9, 1970. Since I was in a bunker for the first time ever out in ‘The Bush’ at a platoon patrol base permanent site even in a cold mist I usually stayed outside wrapped in poncho-line and poncho and sharing my misery with no one, I gave in to creatured comforts just one time before heading out in the morning to a Marine Corps combined unit pacification (CUPP) team to spend a week shooting pictures of Marines walking point and writing notes for a long spread in Stars And Stripes Pacific, I dreaded even more than usual going out to The Bush. Again. But the only way to beat that particular beast was beat it over the head each and every day. So I had a secured (back turned to the bunker opening, match flame shielded and cigarette shielded) a smoke before I walked to the door for a pee. I would never be back, so sue me for peeing just past your door. I was miserable and tired and scared and about usual. So I went back to my temporary bed, a built-up second-story pallet with a 12×12 beam for a headrest pillow…later I heard what I though for damsure was a ‘pin’ being pulled on a mortar round to arm it…but as usual I was wrong again…’twas an arming pin being pulled on a B-40 Rocket Propelled Grenade. Yes. I had exceptional hearing. My ear-test chart had no dots registering below the card’s title lines and only a few touching the graph itself. There was no way to determine my hearing…at all ranges in boot camp the test scores came back 0-0s through six or so columns. I though I had failed the test and thus was going to be rejected. Saved my life instead. I raised up and said out loud: “That was no mortar…it’s a%$#*&@&^(%$ and my world went white and I was blind and heard not a thing and said if this is being dead it’s not so bad…I can hack it…and then things got scary. Again.