Monday, January 11, 2010

Truth Is Stranger

My job is a no-brainer. That goes without saying. Still, since it is such, I have a lot of time to think, and sometimes I think of strange stuff. Today I was thinking about something that happened back when I was in the Navy.

I was stationed in Italy. There were several bases there in Napoli where I was. The two main bases, though, were the Navy base and the NATO base. Each base had a club. I used to go on country nights--when they played country music. Since there was only one club on each base, they took turns playing different genres of music. Anyway, that's beside the point.

That particular night, I was at the club on the NATO base. There was a ship in, so there were a lot of fleeties in the club. That's what we called the sailors from the ships, fleeties. I made it a point never to dance with the fleeties, because they were always drunk and usually--well, grabby, if you know what I mean. But that night, there was one guy there at the club and he looked so familiar. I kept on looking at him, trying to figure out who he was. When he came over and asked me to dance, I accepted.

I told him basically what I've just told you--that I don't normally dance with guys off the ships, but he looked so familiar that I wanted a chance to talk to him and find out if he really was someone I knew. So we got to talking, and found out that I did know him, sort of. His name was Jack, and we both had been going to school at Great Lakes Naval Training Center at the same time. There was a pool room across the street from the base that I visited occasionally with some of my pool playing friends. I didn't ever really talk to Jack, but I remembered him because he always wore black duster jacket.

We talked a little more, and found out we had gone to the same college for a year. Yes, I remembered him from there, too. I never really talked to him, but I remembered his performance in the freshman talent contest. He came in second, but everyone thought he should have won, because he played a mean fiddle. I mean, he was good.

As if that weren't enough, we talked even more, and found out that I went to high school with Jack's cousin. That was just too weird!

Anyway, Jack's ship pulled out the next morning, and I never saw him again. I often think about him, though, and wonder where he is and how he's doing. And how odd it is to go halfway around the world, just to meet someone from your own back yard.

6 comments:

Steve said...

And you never dated, wrote or corresponded after that?! Shame on you! ;o) But sounds like you could write a song like "His Favorite Christmas Story'", by Capitol Lights!

Becky said...

Why shame on me? What was so wrong with that? Just because I'd seen him once or twice before, doesn't make a man husband material. Why do people want to assume that just because you meet someone, you should want to date him?

I've never heard that song.

Sus said...

I've had a couple of similar experiences -- I've run into people I know from my hometown at the top of a mountain pass in Colorado and when my luggage was lost in Moscow, the only other people in the terminal while I waited were from Kansas City (I didn't actually know them at all, but it was very coincidental and "homey" feeling). It's very trippy and random! I think it reinforces the fact that, even though its a very very large number, there is only a finite number of combinations of people on the planet at any given time. And sometimes, even though you're in a situation where it seems like you shouldn't, you're going to know some of them. Fun!
Sorry, I'll de-nerd now. :)

Awesome story! Thanks for telling it!

Steve said...

Oh, I know, I was being tongue-in-cheek! Are you familiar with the song I mentioned? It reminded me of that. If it had worked out, you could have a story/song/etc. of your own!

Bag Blog said...

It is a small world.

Becky said...

Steve, OK. I guess that's what I get for trying to respond to comments at 4:30 in the morning! I've never heard of the song you mentioned. I'll try to remember to look it up this evening.

Sus, don't de-nerd! I've missed you!

Lou, it sure is.

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