I remember watching the lottery broadcast in my apartment with Ron, one of my best friends from college. This was the first year that we lived off campus, in efficiency apartments at Midtowne Terrace. The previous summer the two of us had even gone together to New York City with hopes to partake in some of the anti-establishment fun at the Woodstock Music Festival. We unfortunately couldn’t get out of the city to get there, but the shared experience was another link to bond our friendship.
We had almost made a party of the night of the viewing, but the celebration quickly came to an end as Ron’s birthday was the fifth number selected. Mine was not called until 331. I recall feeling so very guilty. It was probably akin to what is termed "survivor’s guilt."
In the following weeks, Ron scrambled to deal with the aftermath. He was forced to enlist, and he didn’t return to UK for the last semester of senior year. I, of course, could finish my education without the specter of military service breathing down my neck. But the guilt remained for quite a while.