Sgt Roman F. Klick 36620923
HS 1393 Engr APO 709
c/p SF Cal
4 December 1944
Blue Monday is what today truly is for nary a letter, newspaper or package came in - at least not for me. I always expect a V-mail and a Daily News but lately I've gotten into the habit of expecting a package all the time which is really a lot of nerve on my part because last night I sat down to figure out just how many more packages are supposed to be on their way and it boils down to exactly one and that is the one which is from you and from Aunty Florence and contains, in addition to the candy, the overseas service bars. Gosh, I don't know how long ago it is now that you sent them and at the time you mentioned it in your V-mail letter, I thought that within thirty or forty days at the most they would have arrived and it would have been well before the third bar was earned, but now, the third overseas bar is history and the package still has not arrived.
Another thing which is making this Blue Monday is that this V-mail is being typed while I am working overtime. It is almost seven o'clock now and we haven't stopped working since four bells with the exception of the time taken off for eating. What gets Jack and I hot under the collar is that it is the Company Clerks work we are doing of all the companies. Back in Camp White each company clerk did his own work and other people weren't called in to do it for him but these lads here just can't seem to hold their own or else the Army is getting more paper work than it can handle. We have no idea when we will be done for the Major has to come in, look over the work and then we have to retype the stuff all over again to send out.
What makes it doubly bad is that I worked hard during the eight hours today and then to continue at it thru the night gets me. And in spite of working hard during the day, I accomplished very little of my own work. I did the morning reports, one pay voucher and a payroll for one of the medics but other than that I was doing Reports of Surveys for Supply Sergeants, work for Captain Hanton and a dozen and one other little jobs which just kept pushing my own work into the background. But, says I, so long as they don't make me work any longer I shouldn't kick so now that I am working overtime I am kicking.
I think I'll just forget the army during the rest of this letter because the more I think of it the madder I get and the madder I get the worse I feel and the worse I feel the poorer my letter is and etcetera, etcetera.
On the whole, I like the new or rather the return to the old eight hour schedule. That extra half hour of sleep in the morning does wonders because you not only wake up with the world light instead of dark, but you have a more rested feeling than otherwise. During the night though, we had one of the most severe rainstorms we have had to date - at least as far as the noise it makes on the roof of the barracks. It sounded as though we were right under a gigantic faucet which was turned on full blast. There were no staccato beats of rain - just one constant, steady and very loud roar. Luckily for me, my bed is in a leakproof spot of the building and even when the rain wakes me up, all I have to do is turn over and go back to sleep once again. The other lads, in spite of the fact that they supposedly tarred the roof, still go prancing around in the dark, trying to float their beds to a dry spot.
The orientation class this week is going to be held during the evening hours instead of during the time set aside for training. I do not know whether we will get credit for it and have that time off or not. It doesn't make much difference though because it is going to be given just before show time and I may have to be up in the projection booth anyhow. Captain Cook is going to give it and I'm afraid to say that that is a bad feature of it for he is not as entertaining a speaker as some officers and his voice is more like a foghorn which is generally unintelligible after a short spell.
Just when I talk to Cooley about the prize money from the ping-pong tournament saying that the fellows are wondering about when they are going to get it, I find out that they had already been paid off Sunday but hadn't told me so. I guess Captain Hanton was waiting for Pay Day too for he sponsored the tournament and gave the prizes away.
O say, the Christmas cards are all mailed out now, thank goodness, and I managed to write a few words on all of them that were important. Another thing, I finally got down to the last one which was for Mr. Arguelles and I had to think of some kind of address to send it to. Finally I thought of the Spanish Club, then Randolf and Dearborn (the Northeast corner and at last the 2nd floor of the Delaware building. So I put all that down on the envelope along with his name and hoped it would find him eventually.
Fine time for the PX to get Christmas cards but get them they did - today. They are rather nice things which fold up on themselves and make their own envelope. There is also ample room to write a short note inside them. But the 4th of December is kind of late for Christmas cards and I doubt whether mine which I mailed during the last week will get home in time for Christmas.
When the army becomes most depressing, I begin to get short glimpses of the good times I had when I was home. From time to time I've given you some of those impressions and here are a few additional ones right now. I think of riding on a bicycle along the Desplaines River on a late Saturday afternoon. I think of being downtown towards three or four o'clock on a Saturday afternoon in the late fall or early spring - it is a dismal day but no snow yet there is the full sense of freedom in the air because a person knows he can go home or just keep looking around depending all upon himself and his inclination at the time. I think of getting up very very early on a summer morning during vacation with the air so clean and fresh and a full day ahead of one to do as he pleases.
But there are other things which I think of which I do not like and one of them happened last night. The Charlie MacCarthy program was on the air and you know the music they come on the air and go off the air with. Well, all during the while I was home and that music would play on a Sunday night, I would have an uneasy feeling as if time was being wasted. I believe it came more from the fact that all my homework from school used to be piled up over the weekend and I thought I would finish that last evening but somehow it would never happen that way. I'd waste away Sunday afternoon, then we would eat and finally we would listen to the after supper programs until by the time Charlie MacCarthy was over, the evening would have been well gone, hence the feeling which persists today. Sunday nights used to give me those feelings of "What is the meaning of life?" "What are we waiting for?" "Is there some goal we are to reach?" That was years ago - last night I wondered if this is the life I have been waiting for? Ironic, isn't it?
Another thing is that after a certain length of time in the Army a person begins to get the hopeless feeling that this sort of life is going to go on and on without end and even the life before coming into the army seems vague and unreal. Those are merely natural reactions of the human body which is so dangerously adaptable.
Well, here comes the Major and Lt Suiter so I guess we will be going to work again pretty soon. I'm glad we got this break at this time so that I can at least rest easily with the letter for the day already in the mails.
So-long, /s/ Roman Roman