page 6typed manu.
The pilot told us that we would be landing in about five minutes. We continued our approach and I began to notice the drop in altitude occurring outside the plane. The plane was still singing and telling a few jokes in the distant background. Inside myself there was a different type of singing. Never before had I felt this type of uneasiness. It was a sort of impending danger type of signal. While looking around I could notice other guys looking the same way. It was awe inspiring in its mystery and silhouetted grace of a dancing death. You felt it and your mind saw it ,yet it remained a total illusion. It seemed to cry out in a fate sort of way, that you had a long journey before you. It seemed to tell of a maturity that had been planted in all of us. The final bow of communion to the old world and a new awareness that was beginning to take root. We were all brothers to this unforeseen place and experience.
The plane made a right turn on to the base pattern for landing. It seemed to be at a relatively high altitude for this part of the pattern. The turn was steep and sharp. Then there was a shattering illusion of reality and war. The maintaining of the high altitude was as a protection against enemy ground fire. It was sort of like a great explosion inside my mind. The fireworks were set off. My palms became sweaty in a new and unfamiliar way. The clothing that was on me floated in a new and strange way. There was a weakness to my knees and a slight trembling to my composure. Onward came a feeling of loneliness and isolation. The tormented rapture of being somewhere you don't want to be. An unbalancing of the totalcomposure of each person was starting that slow alteration and the seeds of war began to grow. The natal fear of falling from that great height. The possibility of the reality were upon all of us. The bondage of our great brotherhood began to formfrom that moment. The air of tension eased as the initial shock wavered out of our systems.
Then the plane seemed to nose dive for the runway. The wheels touchedthe concrete runway with that familiar chirp. Soon the reverse thrusters were used to slow the plane down to taxi speed. The tension seemed to get lost in the confusion and haste to get off the plane.
page 7 typed manu
As the plane came to a rolling halt, the pilot welcomed us all to Viet Nam. We were told to sit still and wait for orders and buses to arrive. The temperature inside the plane was rising fast. It seemed as if we had entered the gates of hell. Soon everyone on the plane was getting angry and upset. Finally we all gathered our gear and were ready to disembark the plane. The stewardesses were fidgeting and getting everything in order. They thanked us for flying with them. They said, they would all like to see us again. There seemed to be some sort of sarcasm or wit being perpetuated. It went over everyone's heads at the confused moment. Everyone wasstanding, waiting to get off the plane and into the fresh air. Slowly the stagnation of people moved toward the front and back door. As we emerged outside the plane, you met your first enemy, the sun. We had landed at a place called CAM RHAN BAY. It was on the east coast of Viet Nam. There was a heat and humidity beyond belief. The noon day temperature was up near one hundred and ten degrees. This was truly one of the entrance ways into hell.
CHAM RHAN BAY was one of the incoming reception centers in Viet Nam. It had vast quantities of beach sand all around. It was also used as an in-country R & R center. The place was a mass of barracks and administration buildings. There was that familiar army green to be seen everywhere. The place had an awareness of movement and fast change. There was the same activity that one saw at ant event where there was need for fast movement and change. The place itself was the same airport where President Johnson hadlanded when he visited Viet Nam.
CHAPTER 2 typed manu
We departed the plane in that slow line formation. The temp. inside the plane was like that of an oven. Sweat was the perfume of the air. It seemed like that was all there was to do at the moment. Deodorant was an unknown from then on. There was even a start to the weight loss that everyone experienced in Viet Nam. Any excessive water was sweat ed out of the body in a short period of time. The last of the guys were coming off the plane. Each was grabbing that last stolen kiss orfeel on the ass, from the stewardesses. It was funny in its own sense of humor. Yet sad, to the fact, departure from the known world had already planted its seeds.
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