The Setup: 1966. The US has sent over 300,000 troops to the war in Vietnam. On the home front, tensions are mounting, as support for the War continues to diminish. President Johnson makes his first trip to South Vietnam, and the Soviet Union announces its intentions to support North Vietnam, arousing anger among war supporters and moderates.
As for our favorite sextet, Monica, Rachel and Phoebe are seniors in high school. Ross, Chandler and Joey have just graduated high school (Joey and Chandler went to a different school, though). Rachel and Ross are dating.
The Age of Aquarius
New York City, 1972
The winter wind bit through his thin green jacket fiercely, causing him to involuntarily shiver. The bright lights, rough pavement, and animated streets were foreign to him, even though he'd grown up in it. Five years had changed him more than he wanted to admit---more than it should have. He was 23, going on 45, and he felt the weight of the world on his tired shoulders. No 23-year old should ever have to see what he has seen: to know what he knows. No man should have to stand in the face of danger, and know that it is either them or you.
No man should have to live with the blood of a child on his hands.
Snow began to drift down from the black sky. He felt the light-as-a-feather flakes, and recalled a time when he'd prayed for anything besides Asian rain. After years in the hostile jungles of a country thousands of miles from home from a reality he had built for himself, if only to keep sane---being back in New York City felt wrong, somehow. He looked up at the sky, as a thousand tiny flakes danced through the air, and slid down his ragged face.
Life, as he knew it, was about to change once more.