The Countdown

Me (Ptomaine) In Hooch With Countdown Calendar

Wednesday, September 18, 1968

The spotting scope was like a new toy for me, but it was limited after sundown.  The low light conditions were not optimal for the small aperture lens.  I scanned the river where the NVA had crossed in sam-pans on the night of the TET offensive; the sand bar was gone, but there was a riffle where it once was (maybe it was underwater).  I secured the scope as it became too dark outside.

Thinking of how long Jenny and I had been apart, I started making some calculations.  The elapsed time, from when I left her at Camp Pendleton in January to R&R in Hawaii, was 124 days.  It was the longest we had ever been separated.  Recalculating from when we said goodbye again in Hawaii until now was 18 weeks.  At present we had approximately 140 days still to go . . . it was mind numbing.

I wrote a quick letter to Jenny, wishing her good luck with her new semester of college classes (she would receive this correspondence in five days).  Now we had a new way of counting the time left.  We were in the “last semester” and looked forward to mid-term and final exams (graduation and homecoming).  I tried to look on the bright side of our situation.  We were getting “Short.”

Next Edition:  Coffee

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