My dear wife has recently begun reading this, and being more honest to me than most, has noticed some issues that might need clarification. (!)
First of all, be sure you read the Introduction – which I have just revised, and be sure you notice the warnings… especially regarding the two streams in the timeline of the story, which can be very confusing if you aren’t aware that the two streams of the story are interleaved – i.e., mixed together. The Chapters of the story I’ve called The Trip drop in every three or four pieces and are a separate, related story which began a year or so after I was out of the Air Force.
And I have added numbers to the list of pieces, so if you’re coming back to that you’ll have an easier time remembering which ones you’ve read…
I actually think I am done now.
Well, I’m been thru everything again and re-edited. There are no major additions or changes to the order of pieces yet… but that may happen.
I do appreciate all of you who are reading this, as I know the story is not so sweet sometimes, and may actually be offensive to some sensibilities… but it’s just how things were from my perspective… and filtered thru my particular set of social understandings. Some of those understandings have moved along, changed, and expanded, but I’m not trying to re-formulate things based on my current perspective, as I wanted to present this story the way it seemed to me as I went thru it and as I looked back on it some years ago when I began the arduous process of writing it all down. (It’s been over 10 years, shall we say. All began with Jan’s writing group, the chapter on the Cabin beginning life as a short story for that group, who all said, “But it’s not believable.” To which I said, hmmm, well it happened! So I started writing to give enough back story to make it believable that someone would actually do such stupid things.)
I will probably do an afterword or foreword or something to bring it into my present perspective on things. I’m still too involved in it to do that at the moment.
I’m going thru the War Journal again, re-editing all the chapters and pieces, opening everything up to public, thinking about some kind of approach to publishing it all.
Not sure what direction I’ll take, but am open to suggestions.
I came across this bit that I like a lot, so thought I’d put it out here, maybe entice some casual readers to delve into the whole thing. This is from “Desperado Connection” – Ch. 3 of The Trip, the story of my cross-country odyssey with another vet:
“Yeah, I had been ready to go, get out of Florida, get out of the country maybe. Hell, I’d been wanting to go to Canada since graduation – probably should’a gone – so why not? It had been easy to take Charlie’s suggestion. I was lost in my thoughts now, lost in the anger, half-scrubbing at the counter, absently putting away pots and pans…. I don’t even want to stay in this country any more, not after what it’s done to us. Disemboweled, that’s the word. The War, and what they’ve done to everybody so they could keep having the war, it’s all just spiritually disemboweled us. That’s why we feel so empty. We eat and drink and smoke and snort and it all just blasts out the bottom. There’s nothing there, so we just keep moving. Blow it out your ass, the jet jockeys loved to say. That’s what we’re doing. Just like that F-4 jock that lost it in the O-Club at DaNang, jumped up on the bar and started shooting up all the mirrors and the bottles with his Smith & Wesson .38 Caliber Combat Masterpiece, the sidearm we all carried so we could get rescued or otherwise if we crashed in the jungle. Blowing it out his ass, they said.”