Have you dreamt of becoming famous? What would your claim to fame be? Comedy? Acting? Writing? Race car driving? Go!
I suppose everyone has considered it one time or another. Long ago I came to the conclusion I would never want to be famous. Fame brings with it the possibility of changes in who you are and corrupts one to the point of compromising. For those who it doesn’t, good for them, but as for me it’s too great a risk.
What follows is a short story about loneliness. War and soldiering can be about the loneliness thing in the world. At least, that’s the way I felt in the fall of ’66.
Gordon and Oscar sat in the PX drinking watered down stuff that closely resembled the color and taste of beer. It must have been beer. It brought on the mood that beer sometimes brings, misery. Or it might have been the song in the back ground, Bobby Vinton’s Mr. Lonely.
“If you here that song long enough it will kill you,” Gordon said. “That song can make you blow your brains out if you listen to it long enough.”
“I wonder if Bobby Vinton knows that?” Oscar said.
“Bobby is at home,” Gordon said. “He’s someplace where’ he’s wanted. We’re someplace where we can only miss another place.”
“The Army sucks,” Oscar said.
“Not nearly as much as Bobby Vinton,” Gordon said.
“He has no idea,” Oscar said.
“When I’m out I’m going to tell him how miserable he made my life,” Gordon said.
“I hope he’s miserable,” Oscar said.
“Here’ something to add to our misery,” Gordon said, “he’s not miserable.”