17 July 1956
Eight twenty, a warm night, a good movie, & here I am. The office, for a change, is very quiet—only Coutre, & he’s reading. Today passed by nonchalantly, & looking back on it I can’t recall if it went fast or slow. The main thing is that it is over now, & only 25 days stand between me & August 12.
Payday today, & I bought two rolls of movie film—I plan on stocking up before we get back; also bought four bath towels, two T-shirts, & 4 pair of shorts.
Yesterday afternoon I started packing my sea bag; put away all my blues, my peacoat, raincoat, & two T-shirts which I had folded carefully for my first inspection at Pensacola & never used. They & the shoes I’m wearing now are the only things I have left.
Just been sitting here thinking over the last two years—they seem like an eternity, & yet again everything seems like yesterday, if I try to pin it down.
I can see mother stepping off the airliner in a brown suit & little white hat, shielding her eyes from the sun with her hand. I remember asking her about the trip, & feeling more excited for her than she must have been herself.
I remember flying low over the road on the way back to Corry Field, listening to the steady roar of the engine & singing "Furl the Banner."
Los Angeles & Lief stalking down the sidewalk ahead of the band, & me wondering if he’d seen me or not.---The first sunrise over Gibraltar; Marc & Michel—all of it there, neatly laid out & waiting, crisp & brand new, only to be remembered to be relived.
Now that my European tour is almost at a close, I think I might like to come back for a short vacation—this time, though, I’d see the Northern countries; Germany, Switzerland, England, Norway, Denmark, etc.
If ever I should have any say in the matter, Foreign Languages would be taught—compulsory, in fact—in all American schools. You’d be amazed how it feels to be suddenly, for all practical purposes, struck dumb, & on the other hand, what a feeling of satisfaction you get from being able to speak even the rudiments of another language & make yourself understood.
As usual around this time of night, I’m hungry. Lately I’ve been getting up in time to catch the tail end of breakfast, & it helps, but not at night. I could stay up till late chow at 11:00, but then I’d be too tired to get up for breakfast. It’s a vicious circle.
We were talking the other day about certain almost-forgotten foods—bananas, milk, doughnuts, popcorn, & the like. Oh, well, soon…soon.
Day after tomorrow & Friday we’re going to play those idiotic 0430 G.Q. games. They pick that time very carefully, so that it is too late to go back to sleep when it’s over, & too early to do anything else.
Well, it’s now nine-fifteen, & I must to bed.