I don’t know if this is true but if it is this has to be one of the worst weeks ever suffered by one man in the history of the world … and I have to be honest, I didn’t do the research because in this case I think I like the legend if it happens to be untrue.
So I’m sitting there this weekend and a friend says, “Did you hear about the guy that got hit with both of the atomic bombs in Japan at the end of World War II?”
For those uninitiated, I am extremely cynical and immediately didn’t believe it so I asked them to do us all a favor: please continue with this tale of yours.
So, as the story goes, the guy was a factory worker in Japan — Hiroshima to be exact — and despite the daily bombing runs from the Flying Fortresses of the U.S. Army Air Force, he went to work. Some time before he could get his day off to a good start, boom, first atomic bomb ever used in anger detonates and mass confusion ensues.
At this point in the story, also being a fiction writer, I’m engrossed … I can’t help it. I also realize I already don’t want to know if it’s true because this could get interesting.
The story continues …
Dazed and confused the man makes his way and is eventually picked up by Japanese military personnel and rerouted. He doesn’t appear to be suffering from any side effects, and at the time that wouldn’t have mattered much as he was put straight back to work. The Japanese economy was all but crushed under the heels of a years-long embargo and the military might of the Allies as they closed in, which meant every worker was that much more important.
His first or second day on the job, the man is describing to his coworkers what happened just a day or two before, and of course no one believes him. The stories making their way across the country about the new weapon the Americans are using are either made out to be a hoax, as if it never happened, or can’t be described because there’s no previous point of reference. Either way, no one believes him.
The man, already having survived one atomic blast, goes to work in his new place of employment in the small industrial area of Nagasaki, ridiculed for the tall tales he has been spreading and still reeling from all he’s been through when, of course, if you know your history, you know it happened again.
The Japanese Empire had refused to surrender following the detonation of the atomic bomb over Hiroshima and as a result, a second was detonated over Nagasaki. In the end the decision saved millions of American lives. This isn’t about nuclear proliferation in the least. It’s just a story about a man … one where I prefer to not know its validity.
It may seem strange to hear something like this, especially for me, and not have to chase down any and all details. Most of the time I HAVE to know and can’t resist the urge to soak up all the details and minutia associated with interesting stories such as this one.
But this time, I think I’ll let it be because, despite the horror associated with this tale if true, it brings me comfort. It makes me realize something about my life and I think I like it that way, therefore I am going to file this away and use it for my own purposes.
Whenever I get to the point I don’t think I can stand another minute of whatever it is that’s driving me nuts, or when it looks like I am having a bad day, week or month, I can always think to myself how much worse it could be … whether it’s true or not.