I have had the privilege of editing Fred Rivera’s manuscript of Viet Nam entitled Raw Man.
Since I sleep with the judge, Fred’s entry will not be eligible for any of the prize money offered for our contest which ends June first: Once Upon a Time. (Scroll down on our home page to find the link to enter our contest.)
But I would ask–I do ask–that upon reading this prologue you click on the link to the Kickstarter campaign that will allow this manuscript to be published. We have created a three-minute video which Edward James Olmos was good enough to narrate for us. I wept when I first saw our completed video. So did Fred Rivera. So did Edward James Olmos. Perhaps you can claim the distinction of being the first to view the video without weeping. Lemme know.
Here is the prologue to
by Fred Rivera
The sink in the men’s restroom at the Long Beach VA hospital took an overdose of Percocet this morning. I was shaking so violently that half the bottle fell in. I salvaged what I could. I only hope that those pills help take away any pain that the sink might be experiencing today. As for me, they stopped working some time ago.
I am in chronic pain and spikes like I am having today bring out the worst in me. They insidiously remind me of the time I spent in the jungle of Viet Nam.
The VA gives me 100 percent disability for the pain and suffering resulting from me getting blown off my track in 1969, and for inescapable, intrusive and recurring thoughts of war. PTSD can hit you out of nowhere and it came roaring out today.
My father is dying of cancer and I’m trying to be with him as much as possible. He is surprisingly reflective considering all the drugs they have him on. My war ended nearly 30 years ago and Dad’s over 50 but I’m discovering psychological wounds linger longer than some physical ones do. Dad still has nightmares from his time in WW Two.
After I OD’d the sink, I came struggling out of the bathroom to see dad’s newspaper splayed open to the crossword page. As I sat on the foot of the bed, the paper was upside down as he filled in the blanks. Five down was a three-letter word for armed conflict. Transfixed with terror, twenty seven years after I got on the flight home, I saw that Nam War was raw man spelled backwards.
I’m pretty raw today.
PLEASE CLICK THE LINK TO WATCH THE VIDEO.