letter before I leave #2
Oct 10, 2009
on the phone the other night:
you: just x days before I leave. barely time to sleep. barely time to get laid.
me: go for it. it’s what you need.
you: sleep or sex?
me: both. it’s going to be a long tour
you: told my parents the other day, if things go pear-shaped, bury me at home. in the village. beneath the tree. in the little churchyard. the little churchyard next to the open prairie. where my grandparents, my great-grandparents lie. the place that fills with white flowers every May.
me: fawn lilies?
you: who knows? I’m not a flower guy. just know what I like.
me: not Beechwood with the brothers?
you: nope. want none of that. no 21 gun salute. no brass.
me: who’ll wear your silver crosses? your mother, your sister, who else?
you: don’t know. haven’t had time for love. no time to muckle onto some chick. too busy on Ex., 3 tours. too tired. hey there, sorry. gotta hang up. the guys are at my door. taking me out on the town. getting me hammered. I’ll call you later. before I go.
me: be careful. have fun. lots of fun.
soldier, all night I couldn’t sleep. for more than 2 hrs at a go. thinking about you. each time I woke I saw your eyes. blue. crystalline. water I could drink and drink. eyes I saw in the sunrise that morning you picked me up at daybreak. drove me into the city. you so amazing in your deserts. your beret. I had to pinch myself that for a few hours you were mine.
then when I finally managed to get to sleep. around 4 am (0400 hrs!) I dreamed you came to me. lay a silver cross. a purple ribbon. gently. across my naked breast. I dreamed you came to me. no longer tired. smiled. stayed awhile. slept. rose at dawn. got dressed. walked away. closed the door silently. as you left.