Archive for September, 2010
Vasili Alexandrovich Arkhipov ( _ru. Василий Александрович Архипов) (1926-1999) was a Soviet naval officer. During the Cuban Missile Crisis he prevented the launch of a nuclear torpedo and therefore a possible nuclear war.
On October 27 1962, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, a group of eleven United States Navy destroyers and the aircraft carrier USS “Randolph” entrapped a nuclear-armed Soviet Foxtrot class submarine B-59 near Cuba and started dropping practice depth charges, explosives intended to force the submarine to come to the surface for identification. Allegedly, the captain of the submarine, Valentin Grigorievitch Savitsky, believing that a war might already have started, prepared to launch a retaliatory nuclear-tipped torpedo.
[I’m a] senior in high school and my pretty passionate English teacher told me the following story one day after class (just him and i in the classroom). He was hesitant at first, which you’ll understand why soon.
He told me a story of how him and friend of his decided to go out one night for a walk, no particular reason. They were headed back while in a grass field when everything went cold and silent. They both froze. Couldn’t move. What he could only describe as a “portal” opened up in front of them. A dark, black, doorway.
About fifteen years ago I was a 19 year old backpacker. I was staying the night at a rural castle hostel in Ireland with a few Philadelphians I had met. The night progressed uneventfully – stone sober, a cheese sandwich for dinner – until the three of us lay down to sleep.
Every time I closed my eyes, I saw row upon row of women staring at me. They weren’t angry. They weren’t menacing. Just there. Dozens of them. Staring at me. No irises in their eyes. Just white. Staring at me.
When I was 16, I worked at a law firm downtown as a summer intern. Every day, I’d go get lunch from this row of vendors – either a gyro, a hot dog, a kebab, or a burrito. Each one only took cash, so I got used to carrying around a bunch of cash, and every day, I’d pay for my meal, take all the change I got and anything in my pockets, and give it to a local homeless guy named Ivan. I’d also just say “Hi, Ivan” or “Nice seeing you, man” or something along those lines.
Ivan was a mid-20s black guy who had fought in Iraq, but had some severe PTSD and had run away from whatever family and friends he had and moved a few hundred miles to upstate New York. He was generally nice, but quiet, and obviously in a very bad place in his mind. He had a giant, raggedy beard, clothes that he had obviously just picked off the street, and I can’t remember if I ever saw him in any position other than a mixture of the fetal position and a squat. I gave him change every day that summer, until I had to go back to school.
Now, this story diverges here, and two very important outcomes arise.