Micky's Review Of "A Date With Vietnam" by Steve Weathers
“A Date With Vietnam”
This morning, as with yesterday morning and many more, I woke around three AM. Even on Cycle North Carolina, only a week ago now, I woke in the middle of the night and stayed awake until I knew Rosie had the coffee going at five AM. I lay there on my air mattress with the embolism until my flash light told me that my cycling computer said it was 5 o’clock. I would have little sleep for the entire week. Big deal – nothing new. Nothing is ever “new” with me. I have the same desires, needs, and fires.
My friend, Steve Weathers wrote this book, "A Date With Vietnam”.
I enjoyed as one can enjoy truth and truth written about war, young men in war, and the repercussions.
I’ve enjoyed too much truth too often. I don’t read your popular books that guests can mull over and delve into in polite and popular conversations. I have books of “unpleasant truths”.
I would say that all women who have been close to me would say that I am unpleasant. I’m not sure, unless it was the betrayal of my youth and Vietnam, why I would seek and love the truth so much.
One of the books, I read briefly as many of my books are, is “Deception”. It’s about the selling of nuclear data and materials to Pakistan since the Carter years. So I read the filthy news until I get too “ill” and I put it down – maybe to never open the cursed thing again. Why? It is because I already know too much.
And so – my truths are different from the truths that most citizens hold dear.
I am unpleasant. Ask my ex-wife. Ask ex-girl-friends. I cannot argue with the women. Of course, I have 20x20 hindsight as well.
During election years, and they seem to be every year, I get a bit “ill”.
I do not believe in the lies most of you believe in.
My “data”, my information is different. I know – without an iota of doubt - that a democrat and/or republican will take “us poor kids” to war against other poor kids and it will be for greed, profit, and other motives into which I’d rather not get.
You and I – we may, both, be studying “the truth”.
But my data is different from yours. You may get your info from the major news sources.
I get my information from every source I can – but then, again, I get “ill”.
My memory banks over-flow.
Yesterday I went for a short bike ride. I had ridden the Columbus 4th of July route that I helped organize, decades ago, on Friday. I helped with the route which has changed several times. Bear in mind that I ride and ride, if not for the endorphin buzz, then to tire myself out so I can sleep – or in my mind, sleep more healthily. Cycle North Carolina – I rode hard every day and without nourishment for most of a couple days, just to hopefully erase a memory or two or to just tire myself out.
After my short bike ride, yesterday (had to be short because of the effort of the Columbus route the day before), I thought I would drive into Charlotte for a “Peruvian Groovin” evening. I like the new (to me) and different restaurant.
I wrote a note in my latest book of crossword puzzles before leaving:
“The immediate future (as if anything will ever change),
Firstly- Pine for a love that will never be. (check and done)
Secondly- Venture out into a world in which I will never belong. (check and done)
Thirdly- Frequent places that “my love” will never be. Dine in restaurants that she will never see. (check and done)
Fourthly- Ride my bicycle past loves that could have been but never will. (check and done)
I guess it cannot matter, my interpretation of the Golden Rule. I try to defend the poorest, the weakest, the most honest. And I may do it to the point of being a very unpleasant contradiction of the Golden Rule to many.
Since arriving on hubpages, since day one, I have fought the bullies. On my first day, I mistakenly went to the “forum” where I met the bully boys. I wrote my first hubpage about the bully boys. It remains. It’s unpleasant. I continue and continue and I let the chips fall where they may. I do not erase. I do not change “history” as most people want to do. My remarks seem odd looking back in time? At whatever time that was I had every right to say what I did. I do not rewrite history.
But now - I spend very little time reading the works of others. Often a comment or reply is in order. This leads to futile discussions - often with "plants" who just want to dicker and bicker or just rile a good heart up.
The truth is the truth and without this anchor I am adrift – at sea.
I keep my 90 RPMs and let the chips fall where they may.
For Cycle North Carolina – I rode somewhat hard and continuous every day. It isn’t a race. Many riders, better than I, may stop at every rest stop and enjoy the local flavor of sites, history, entertainment and crafts, etc. Many are novices regardless of their years on the bike. But “race” I did not. I know my position in the food chain. I try to spin 90 RPMs and let the chips fall where they may.
So – back to Steve Weathers and “A Date With Vietnam”-
I enjoy truth.
I enjoy unblemished truth.
I have tried to read a couple books by “seasoned and decorated soldiers”.
Some I find to be pure fiction. I found some books to be hyped beyond the capacity of my digestive system.
So my friend, Steve Weathers wrote books and this one explains and delves into a young man’s mind that is facing war and death.
Steve reminds us that rules for war are neatly laid out by people drinking tea and coffee, eating do-nuts and scones, while having never seen real war or being a participant - evidently.
Steve’s “A Date With Vietnam” confronts the problems of marriage after war and after-“math”.
But Steve’s story rings of fulfillment and validation.
Steve would find someone who would love him. It would be someone previously married to a Vietnam Veteran. That may be the most remarkable part of the story.
Where I have found women to lack patriotism, truth, loyalty, love – Steve found one who would not be jaded with Vietnam Veterans as I am jaded with all of the above (and evidently, all women are jaded with me).
Steve’s story, to me, is success.
My story remains a mess.
I will live alone as I always have (a hay barn, a bicycle store, a shed across the road from the Bicycle Inn).
To me – I am a failure because I am alone.
There is no vindication for me
I’m 63 and a half years old. I feel like 64.
There will be no love and comfort for me as I age and age and then go to that big Vietnam in the sky.
Steve’s book is truthful and I love the truth.
I hold truths to be so sacred that I actually have no or little credibility. Say what? You read correctly. And mine is a very lonely world of infinite redundancy.
I read Steve’s book. It took a few hours and a couple days
I did not “scan” it.
And - I could smell Vietnam after a few pages.
Young men do not differ so much – location, location, location.
I can easily identify with his R&R in Bangkok. I too went to Thailand for R&R. Steve had two weeks? I had 4 days. But I must have packed two weeks of debauchery into those four days.
So now most are still reading the diversions of J. K. Rowling, E. L. James, John Grisham, Stephen King, Dan Brown, and nut jobs like Rush Limbaugh.
For me I would rather drink up, light up, and think up with a large splash of truth.
God bless Steve Weathers, Bobbi, and “A Date With Vietnam”.
If you're interested in Cycle North Carolina:
Would You Pretend?
Could you see me as one who tried,
Would you pretend,
That I built you a castle,
And that I could walk with respected men?
You need not think.
You need not speak,
Perhaps wipe my forehead,
Kiss my cheek?
Could you wrap your arms,
Around my shoulders,
Remove my weights,
That feel like boulders.
For just awhile,
Pretend that I am a virtuous man.
Brush my hair,
Grasp my hand?
Can I raise my head from the ground,
See some light from your face,
I would consider it,
A bit of grace.
Could you pretend,
I did the best with what I had?
That I tried, I fought, I worked,
Though broken, sick, and sad?
Could you pretend,
I made a way for you?
Would you pretend,
I gave you a beautiful view?
Climbing mountains in the dark,
With rocks and rain,
Putting the shoulder to the wheel,
The soul in the fire and pain.
Will I ever fly,
From a mountain top?
And will the eternity,
Of Sisyphus stop?
Will you see me as weak,
Petty and small?
Or is it possible,
To rise above it all?
It’s a hard and rocky path,
On muddy sod,
I stumble and waver,
Yet, I’ll plod with God.
Where are my loved ones?
Where is my home?
Is there not a soul like me,
Anywhere I roam?
What good is a heart,
To only yearn,
What good are memories,
That only burn?
Can I feel some warmth?
A kindred soul?
Could I play,
A different role?
The sun is blue,
Yellow is the sky,
And what was truth,
Is now a lie.
Could I not walk briefly,
With men of respect?
And when was God replaced,
Why can’t you see me?
Can we see or just peer eye to eye?
Am I not to exist?
Why will you not try?
Words are screened,
And carefully placed.
And by the victors,
All of history is erased.
A steep muddy rut,
Makes a slippery slope,
Without a kindred spirit,
A soul cannot cope,
Then, as now,
I begged and prod,
Then, as now,
I persevered and trod,
And just like now,
I will plod with God.
So leave me alone?
Erase my story?
Paint over the original?
Take away truth and glory.
Erase all memory.
Write the epic tome.
Burn the evidence,
But take me home.
But there is no haven.
No ending or beginning,
But a vicious cycle,
With no-one winning.
So build a mountain that I can’t climb.
Bury a treasure that I won’t find.
Give me a vivid memory,
Just to blow my mind.
I obey blindly
And continue to trod,
Where no-one has gone,
I still plod with God.