Happy birthday, motherfucker

Camp Book, Vietnam, May 4, 1968.

A pleasant warm night. It is my twentieth birthday. We go drinking at the Bamboo Palace, the bar on our base. We drink Carling Black Label from rusty cans. Who’s complaining? The beer costs a nickel a can and its served by good looking young Vietnamese women. I stumble back to the our bunker after the bar closes to smoke pot and take unknown pills that destroy my sensory motor skills. I pass out quickly afterwards.

Later that night, when the first rocket lands, I run out of the bunker thinking I am running from our hut into the bunker. My friends corral me and drag me inside the bunker. When the shelling is over, we all have to go to fighting holes on the perimeter. Why we do not know, for we usually just go back to bed when the whole shebang is finished.

I fall into another deep sleep until we get another shelling early in the morning. I am in a hole by myself. After the first few rockets land, I stick my head above ground to see what is going. The shelling stops. We go back to our huts.

A friend tells me I must have been feeling kind of brave by sticking my head up while we had incoming. Another friend says, he’s still so fucked up he does not have a clue where he is at or what he is doing.

He wasn’t wrong either. I ain’t brave.

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Published in: on June 3, 2008 at 1:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

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