George and Robert were quite the odd pair. It wasn’t that they were opposites of each other, they were just a pair that were individually equal in their oddness. They nearly looked the same, roughly the same height often only discernible from each other by the jet black hair of Robert and the chestnut hair of George. They had spent so much of their childhoods together, and were still inseparable through their first year of college. They had been together so much that they were starting to look like one another just through osmosis.
They seemed to have their own indecipherable dialect of English rattling on about their childhood world of imagination. This would be quite normal had they not been between their freshman and sophomore years in college. Robert missed his good friend, but he worried the person that he saw off at Penn station would come back from the west as a man. Neither of them were quite ready to leave their lives of boyhood to leave behind their comic books about cowboys, indians, nazis and monsters.
That summer, Robert worked at the amusement park. It was a tiring job that would leave him coated in sweat and grease as he would ride back into the city by train. He had a slight pang of jealousy that George was so lucky to be sent off by his parents on his train journey across the country to visit with family and see the world. He was even more jealous that he would not be by his side on the trip. For his freshman year in school George had just survived the curve. He was competing against returning soldiers in the classroom who were ready to start new lives. Those former soldiers enjoyed tempting death by riding their motorcycles through the quad. He and George had thought they missed the craziness of war due to their young ages. That craziness roared motorcycles through their dorm hallways in a sloshy drunken rebellion against the rigidity of the military.
This day was nice. When he got home he found a small stack of letters postmarked “Phoenix” wrapped in twine, all from George. In excitement, Robert cut the twine with his pocket knife and pulled an envelope from the middle. Inside was a picture postcard of a tall blooming saguaro cactus with a dark orange sunset in the background. “Greetings from Phoenix.” Robert smiled. There was a letter on loose sheets of stationary.