The mail brought bad news. My birthdate, February 1, 1950, allotted me lottery number eighty-six in the first of the drafts. I was going to Vietnam. Public notices were posted all over the school, but I avoided looking. Fuck! If only I had gone back to school full-time and didn’t drop out when Dad died, this wouldn’t be happening. I cannot believe it! I’m to fight in a war I don’t believe in? Well, they have another thing coming if they think they’re going to take me! God damn it! Why did I bother trying to get my degree? And now I can lose my life? What on earth will I tell Liz? She’ll fall apart.
I haven’t seen or heard from Liz in a while, but I assume she’s been busy with school. After our time together at the motel I tried to reach her many times, but she was never home. It seemed as if her mother kept making excuses for her. I decided to wait for her to call me. But she didn’t and I’ve been confused and worried.
I took a beer from the fridge and slugged it down. I took another. And another. It didn’t help. There had to be another way. A way out. I went to sleep and was awakened by a pounding on the door. My roommate was coming home from the night before.
“Sorry, I forgot my key. I was with Sheila the whole night.” His girlfriend had an apartment on the other side of town. “How’s it hangin’? “You won’t believe it! I’ve been drafted! I’m number eighty-six. Have you received your number yet?”
“No, not yet. I haven’t looked either. I don’t want to know about it. What are you going to do?” Paul asked.
“I guess I’m going to Vietnam to die. What choice do I have?”
“Why don’t you join the Underground?” Paul suggested.
“What do you mean, go to Canada or something?”