Family, friends, and enemies alike say they don’t understand me. From my point of view, nothing could be easier. 76 years ago I arrived in this world without a plan, yet, I am still without a plan.
I do not question the currents that move me, I simply move with them.
It does not matter to me if the path I find myself on goes up, down, left or right. I accept rewards and consequences as they come. Since I know that I will die like a leaf on a tree, I don’t worry about the season of my life. Therefore, I can walk through the valley of the shadow of death and fear no evil because that valley lay in my path; commonsense accompanies me, and I have papered accordingly.
I cannot find any proof that worrying about dying increases longevity, but there is ample proof, at least for me, it can make life so unbearable that people commit suicide.
On my own from the age of 16, I quickly learned to read the writing on the wall and heed its advice. That being the case, the propaganda of God and country never played a part in my actions. A female companions once asked why I still have pictures of three men who served with me in Vietnam.
The answer is simple. A tent mate, Warrant Officer Thoman’s family grows old and may no longer display his picture. But, I do. I have it out because he asked me to remember him. It is pretty much the same story for the men in the other two pictures.
To each of these men, the military was their family. Since their real families felt rejected, they no longer cared. While I certainly understand a family’s discontent with coming in second, it has no bearing on my desire when walking pass the pictures of these men, to assure them that they haven’t missed much: it’s the same old shit, just a different year.
Those that have met me didn’t know it, but they met a genuine free spirit.
If I second guess the paths I took for just ten seconds, then that little voice in my head says, “Give me a break, Miller. Who do you know who has lived a more exciting life than you? And, who has had one as long as you have? Give it up. You really don’t want to piss me off!”