Letters From Dreamy Draw
Dear Robert, my back is still sore from dragging the bodies out of the valley the other night. Uncle Ralph had a hard time that night keeping his mind straight. It wandered to memories of running through no-man’s-land with all of the fire, smoke, and loud blasts piercing the darkness. At one point I had to get him off his belly, which was not an easy thing to do as he was hugging the hard desert floor as smoke was blowing all around us. He kept saying, “Just lay still and don’t struggle to breathe, the gas won’t hurt as bad.” It can be a beautiful place of hundred mile views from steep buttes, but the crash in the desert has turned the whole trip into a nightmare. I hope you’re spending your time talking to cute girls. Is Mary Clark around this summer? I hope you’ve had good opportunities to talk to her and see that sly smile. My brain is clogged with thoughts of the three alien bodies stinking through the icebox door on the back porch and I just want it back to being fixated on pretty girls with golden hair. I hope I wake up hundreds of miles away to find none of this had really happened…
The letter continued on.
Robert fumbled through the stack of envelopes cocking an eyebrow in confusion.
“Bodies?” Robert mumbled to his empty bedroom, “Mary’s with Sam Jorgensen this summer… he has been gone a long time…”
Robert needed more context. He skimmed the postmarks and stacked them chronologically. George’s trip was supposed to be relaxing, fun, uneventful. Bodies!?! Alien bodies in the icebox on the back porch!?! Robert opened the first letter George had sent. There was a picture postcard of an aerial photograph of Phoenix prominently displaying the rocky and barren Camelback Mountain and the growing downtown in the distance. “Desert Living!” There was a note on a piece of railroad stationary.
I finally made it to Phoenix. Uncle Ralph forgot to pick me up at the train station but I was lucky one of his neighbors found me and gave me a ride. He told me to expect Uncle Ralph to be more reclusive than I remembered. He said that that he is nervous and awkward around people based on an incident in town a few weeks ago to get groceries. When I did make it to his house I found it more a matter that he was a raw nerve outside of his natural habitat than a situation of me going into the home of a dangerous mad man.
He perks up reminiscing about family. He has so many fond stories about my father, and even remembers growing up with your mother, too. I guess she was quite the instigator of bad behavior growing up getting them to skip school to ride the train to Long Island to go to the beach.
He told me about a game he played in his younger days. I’m not sure if it’s much of a game. He asked if we have any weird Roosevelt games. I said we don’t have any Roosevelt games, weird or otherwise. Apparently we’re really missing out, as he says. What you do is you insert Roosevelt into a crazy drinking or a sex story and your friends have to add on about the strange things Roosevelt did to extend the story. The old kook thinks we’d really love them, you can really make a boozed up, sex crazed, foul mouthed, stunt aficionado Roosevelt in those games.
Now, which Roosevelt, do you ask? I sure did. he said that when he was in the Army it was Teddy that they would play with and he was taking his horse everywhere. He supposes it could be Franklin or Eleanor, now. I’m sure they could have TR’s old horse, too. He says that steed was a real maniac. It was pretty much about the horse.
And that was pretty much all I could pry out of him about his time in the war. I’ve heard so much about his heroics in France from others that I hope he will burst open with stories before I have to leave. I have a feeling we’ll finally get our chance to go to our own war before we graduate. I just hope we weren’t born in a time where we miss our own great war…