I guess everyone needs to express their existential unease at least once. This is mine, and it’s been in process for over 16 years now. I think I knew what I wanted to say, but it took a long time for me to learn to say it. Also, this quick note: although I had a few very real, very vivid scenes to start with, this story is just that, a story.
The photo, by an anonymous VQ-1 airman looking west from the barracks next to mine at Da Nang Air Base, shows an illumination shell (center), flares shot by individual Marines, a Cobra gunship in action (far left), and a diving F-100 Super Sabre (Upper right: I saw orange-flamed Sabres fire blue-flamed rockets around that mountain pass many times.) It was nights like these that inspired this story. There were many of them in late April and early May of 1970.
“Like a soft winter wheat carpeting my inner prairie of history and belief, Figment Of Reality became part of all I knew. A tectonic animator of perception, it grew to enable my need to challenge the steep topography hidden in the human terrain. Trekking these hazardous slopes, I encountered reasons enough to write about the arbitrary nature of existence, the catastrophe that is war, and, since I brought it up, wheat.”
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