Based on fact, this album tells the story of NUDE.
Signs tell the time
Life you will find
O the city life,
Hanging on too tight,
to this illusion...
I'm not what I appear to be.
I couldn't take the honesty,
It seemed to be...
too easy for reality.
O the city life,
what have I come to?
Faces in the night,
friendly to fool you.
I always try to justify,
the way I am and wonder why
I couldn't be...
the same to you I am to me.
Nude's thoughts were interrupted by a knock at the door. The postman muttered something about wishing he could go too and handed over a yellow envelope.
It was a command long overdue that called for healthy, young men.
In reply to your request,
I hereby protest.
To the ways and means you use
I cannot refuse.
So I'll take this vow
Fight for the right,
You have said,
To be free.
When this time has run its course,
Live without remorse.
For the deeds I'm bound to do,
it's all the same to you.
But I won't forget
Taking a life,
for a life...
to be free.
Nude's life revolved around orders. He found himself pushed and pulled onto a crowded deck of uniformed figures who shared the same expressionless faces. Loved ones stood anxiously on the pier as the transport faded into separating mist. Water and night seemed one. Nude was going to war...
Thunder cracked. Ramps hit the beach and countless boots assaulted the shore. His heart punding, Nude stumbled headlong into the undergrowth in a desperate search for refuge. Sheets of rain drenched the sunless forest as the skies opened raging down on the tiny island. Panic-stricken, Nude staggered forward and fell unconscious.
Raindrops spattered from the trees onto Nude's face. Startled and confused, Nude listened in the humid silence; he was alone and had no idea where he was. Worst of all, he didn't know what had become of his Regiment.
The setting sin left Nude with the growing darkness of his fears. He made camp and slept with dreams of a dawn rescue, unaware that his Unit had already left the island. In wartime, one less soldier is hardly noticeable.
Seasons turned with time. Nude had given up the search for his Unit but continued to move through the jungle, bayonet poised, as if a thousand eyes were upon him. Home was a cave in a hidden lagoon with abundant vegetation and fresh springs. The highest point of the island provided shelter from annual monsoon floods and sanctuary for his soul.
His military duties consisted of a monthly visit to the mountain top whereupon he ceremoniously croaked the national anthem and fired one precious bullet into the air.
In the loneliness he endured, Nude found an inner strength that flowed with the rhythm of instinct.
Please Come Home
The 29th monsoon had finally dried when a distant buzzing sent Nude scrambling for cover. A tiny plane dipped and swerved, filled the air with swirling white and disappeared.
He cautiously approached one of the scattered pices of paper:
We've been writing letters each day
hoping that you'll come home.
And we're wondering if you're okay.
As you're not on the phone.
Face the facts now
Take a chance.
Come on back now.
Please come home,
Please come home.
Everyone cares for you.
Please come home,
Please come home.
Everyone cares for you,
We've been writing letters each day.
As the sky turned to afternoon gold, Nude picked up the rest of the envelopes and carried then carefully up the mountain.
For a long time afterwards he sat rocking gently. The letters fluttered...the war was over. Long ago. But it seemed of little consequence to Nude. For him, it had never started.
In the days that followed, Nude was no longer at one with his environment. He was now burdened with the need to explain what could not be explained to those who would never understand.
With the air heavy and his instincts dulled by the preoccupation of his thoughts, he failed to heed the warning silence of a normally busy afternoon. With a gasp and a grunt he was wrestled to the ground. A sting in his skin and he was released. He reeled around to stare into the eyes of familiar uniformed figures. The sudden weight of his head plunged him face down into sand denying him protest or the right of a farewell glance at his island...
The band marched beneath a banner that read WELCOME HOME SOLDIER. City streets were littered with cheering crowds entangled in the paper streamers that filled the air. Hailed for his 'unquestioned patriotism' and 'heroic bravery' Nude was unable to respond. The tidal wave of publicity that engulfed his life had a devastating effect after 29 years alone.
Tell me no lies,
has peace arrived...
Or, is this some kind of joke?
What a surprise,
you don't realise...
There's some things you don't own.
Can you disguise,
can you simplify...
This change you put me through?
Can you revive,
and will I survive...
This life you've brought me to?
Physically and emotionally exhausted, Nude was confined to a sea-side resort nursing home.
His war had finally begun.
Weeks of monotony filled his life with an opposite extreme. No longer pursued by opportunists who disguised themselves with good intentions, his body regained strength. The government arranged his back-pay. The mass of generation-removed relatives ceased their dutiful visits and eventually no one came to see the hero who had fought the longest war.
For his 50th birthday, the nursing staff organised a small party. To make him feel at home, the festive cake has been decorated in the form of a tropical island. Nude was visibly moved by the occasion and yet he seemed strangely distracted.
They thought it best to leave him alone.
Nude was last seen on a summer evening in 1972 talking to a small group of people just before he sailed out of the harbour.
In the morning paper, buried within the articles about Asian, Middle Eastern, Irish and American conflicts, was a short column on the disappearance of 'The Island War Veteran Who Could Not Live in The Civilised World.'
Contributed by Flavio Poltronieri - 2015/10/11 - 23:23
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