Tuesday, June 25, 1968
The afternoon tropical downpours continued, and I kept dry in my fighting hole/hooch. The Thuong Duc – Ha Tan runway was slightly elevated, allowing the water to run off into ditch-like canals on either side. As the rain passed, there was a double rainbow off to the east. The countryside was beautiful . . . like a postcard. We were downwind from Razorback Ridge, and the jungle-washed breeze was fresh. It reminded me of camping with my grandfather when I was younger.
For dinner the Gunny issued me “Spaghetti with Ground Meat.” The can was already warm from being in the sun, and I didn’t bother heating it. “Chef Boyardee” couldn’t have done better. After eating half the can, I added a pack of sugar and stirred it into the mixture.
With just enough light remaining, I wrote another passage in a letter to Jenny. Sometimes my letters were written over two or three days. Letter writing made me homesick, and I would stare at her photo which I kept in my paper tablet. I dropped the addressed envelope in the mailbag at the CP and hoped it would go out soon.
Sleeping until my duty watch at midnight, I then settled into my dirt recliner. It was pitch black except for the sky full of stars. Observing and listening in the darkness, I became aware of a subtle glow in the rice paddy in front of me. The whole paddy seemed to radiate with a soft greenish-yellow warmth. Thinking my eyes were playing tricks, I tossed a marble-sized rock into the water. The paddy instantly went black. In a few minutes it slowly started to come alive again and actually pulsated.
I had seen bio-luminescent red tides in the ocean, but this wasn’t plankton. Theorizing it was some sort of algae . . . a rice paddy full of living organisms, I decided not to tell anyone (no one would believe it).
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