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Tuesday, 13 March 2012

From nightmares to heaven. Saigon: Memories of Vietnam 1965 1975


From nightmares to heaven. Saigon

Talking about poisoning. Some years before I must have hit rock bottom. It has to happen once in a life or one never knows what it’s about. The thing is to come out of it on one's feet, up and running. I've always believed that yesterday should either be put in the souvenir album or the dustbin and left there.

Anyway this rupture, brake or end of an affair or whatever you call it had left me most unhappy. It was not too bad when drunk but there was an unbearable emptiness when sober which evidently I avoided. I must have been drinking far too much because one night I had these terrible nightmares. I've never seen such horrible beasties. Really frightening. I think I must have been suffering from some kind of poisoning of my system. The next night the nightmares came back but in the form of shapes like patches of oil that grew and then shrank. Frightening but less so than the previous night.
I had not been eating so stayed in bed and got the maid to feed me up. She gave me a bowl of rice soup. With a base of meat stock this cooked rice was thinned down to a soup and had a marvellous effect on my stomach and general well being. I was fed this for two or three days until I went back to normal food. Since then whenever I've been sick I've had this rice soup, which seems to be a standby cure all for the Vietnamese.

Curiously when the nightmares had finished I started having rather erotic dreams. In fact these became so pleasant that sleeping became more enjoyable than waking and each day I went to bed earlier and earlier until I found myself going to bed at five o'clock in the afternoon. This must have gone on for about ten days when I seemed to be restored to normal health, ate well again and had dreamless nights. The experience had been most odd, going from the depths of despair to the heights of joy. Perhaps there is something to be said for being celibate but how boring life would be without women.

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