He doesn’t know his neighbor but he’s going to have to introduce himself right now.
He’d told himself many times that he should move, that he didn’t belong in this kind of neighborhood any more.
The doctor’s receptionist says, “We’re moving the chemo suite across the hall, so when you come back next week you go to room 112.”
“That was my draft number,” John says. Where did that come from? He is startled to hear what he just said.
“I’m sorry?” the receptionist says with a polite smile. “Your draft number?”
“112 was my number in the draft lottery. Vietnam.”
“Oh. That’s really something.” The receptionist, a pretty young woman who John figures can’t be more than 20-something, clearly has no idea what he’s talking about.
Why should she? America’s Vietnam war, the draft, the psychedelic craziness and terror of that time—death in the jungle under a napalm-burning sky—belongs in the nightmares of men his age not hers.
Heading home John takes a long bus ride down Queens Boulevard, six lanes of ki…