by J.C. Keyser
The Cato Carrera Stories
|"WHEN I GOT DRAFTED I was working at Howard Johnson's and hanging out at the beach all day. I had blonde hair and really didn't do anything else except try and pick up chicks. We would just get six packs of beer and sit on the beach all night."
He picked up his glass and slurped the watery mix of cola and vodka.
"I was the only one out of my brothers and sisters who wasn't even in college. You remember that painting on the wall of the guy putting his hand on the Wall? I went there when I got home and etched my friend Donny's name onto a little piece of paper. He fell out of a helicopter. That's all I ever heard. Donny and I got drafted while everyone else in Rockville got degrees. We were saying 'Fuck the war' with everyone else, but we ended up on that big ol' white bus."
He got up and mixed another drink.
"I met your mother after the war. Nobody cared that we were drafted, they just didn't like us because we were there. Some bad shit, man. The only book I ever read was that one by Ron Kovic. You remember that scene in the movie where he talks about how he can't use his dick? Gives me goosebumps. I would never have signed up for the Army, but I didn't want to really do anything but get drunk and get chicks. Can you imagine your old man a blond beach bum? Crazy huh?"
A cigarette burned half-smoked in the ashtray as he lit another.
Cato looked over his father's shoulder at the books on the shelf. Born on the Fourth Of July and a book called The Twelve Steps.
"I bet you guys were hurting without beer, huh? In Nam they let us have pot and hash and whatever. I guess because we were drafted." His eyelids began to drop over his bloodshot eyes. He looked down into his drink.
"But what you guys are doing. I gotta tell ya man, it's great."