When I was 18 I got my draft number...It was 50. They (the government) always took everyone in lots of 50. Luckily I was going to college so I didn't need to worry. Back then I was sure I couldn't live with myself if I had to kill someone (now it wouldn't be a problem). Well I went to college and in my second semester I got my first ulcer. Very painful and opted out of school for a bit to recuperate. Then I got my notice to go for my first physical for the draft. Went and passes, naturally. I didn't yet know I was gay, didn't want to move to Canada and Objectors weren't in fashion yet. I had six months before I'd have to go again. If you passed twice in a row you were out of there! Before I went the second time I dieted. Yes, Robin's Eggs, Black Beauties and anything else I could get my hands on. I dropped almost 11 lbs. and was too light for my height. During the exam they marked me an inch shorter than I really was and I passed. Well that was it. Six months later I go to the Federal Building in Pittsburgh and go thru the exams again. This time I've brought my bag of underwear and socks. I was really going. So there I am, standing in line at the last station and they hand us each a file filled with our paperwork. I'm looking through mine and I find the letter from my doctor from the first time when I had the ulcer. It wasn't dated! I borrowed a pen and wrote in the day's date and handed it over to the doctor. He said, "That's it. Your out!" I said thank you and he said Don't thank me. You did it to yourself. I didn't care what he thought. I have to admit I've never felt as HIGH as I felt that day riding the elevator down and out of that building. When I got home I told my parents of my good fortune and about being turned down for the service. They seemed disappointed. I couldn't believe it. Did they really want me to go over there and kill people or get killed myself? No. They were hoping it would turn me into a man instead of a hippy. Well, I was never the perfect son. You know last year I spent 34 days in the hospital and even died twice. I think back on all the fortunate things that have happened to me even though I wasn't deserving of them and I really wonder. Is there a higher power? Am I still here for a reason? I'll probably never know. Ah well. Night.