The holidays are a time to write
“Happy Holidays” is a melancholy sentiment for many personnel in the military. If you are sitting on your rack in a deserted barracks, too far away or too broke to go home; underway overseas on a ship or down range with your head in a hole, the holidays are often just a time to be endured.
I know, because like countless others, I’ve experienced all three scenarios. They made me a better man, I guess. Surely there’s something redemptive about abject loneliness.
Big cities are the worst. I can remember walking through Times Square on Christmas Day, surrounded by people, and feeling totally alone. One New Year’s Day, I had the whole Boston Common to myself, not one person making an impromptu speech; not one person feeding the pigeons. Even the panhandlers had somewhere to go.