Hey, Imp. I don’t know if you’ll ever read this but I’m writing it anyway. Maybe someday, well. Maybe. If I am counting the days correctly, you are still deployed somewhere in central Asia. I’m guessing things are still pretty hot around Chengdu, though there were rumors of pushing up to Dunhaung. I just hope you’re safe and holding together.
I don’t know if you’ve heard. I didn’t hold together. Flipped entirely actually. But then you always were the spotless one. You’ll do better. I need to believe that you’ll shake off the war when you finally get home. I’m counting the days until you’re done. Remember your promise and don’t you dare sign-up again. I will storm out of this desert riding the Furies if you break your word.
Yeah, that’s right. I said the desert. The Desert; that great waste of sand stretching from the borders of the Pacific Union all the way to the Mississippi river. Decided to take a walk. It was that or stay at the hospital and I couldn’t take it another day. They regrew my leg and arm. Itched like hell. But I couldn’t let them fix my head. They wanted to take away the memories and those are all I have left of Joaquin. I’d rather live with this pain. The psyches just didn’t get it. I know you do.
So I’m walking in the desert. Well, not right this minute. I am currently in my tent, hiding from the heat of the day in the shadow of a great dune. The sand is skittering overhead and I’ll have to dig my way out at sunset but at least I won’t roast. Then I’ll walk until early dawn while trying not to freeze. Then I’ll pitch camp, hang out my dew collector, set traps, and have a little dinner. Some days I have lizard or spider. On a good day, I’ll have snake. I see coyotes and hawks, a few vultures even, but I haven’t figured out how to catch those yet. Then I sleep through the heat of the day and start the cycle over again. It’s soothing.
I’ve been out here two months and six days. I’ve found signs of camps of other seekers. A few dead bodies scoured clean by the sand and vultures. Mostly though I find fragments of broken tools or indentations in a dune where a tent had been in the previous night or two. I wonder if they’re chasing stories of Furies and Deevas or if, like me, they’re seeking impossible answers to questions not yet formed.
Keep your nose clean, little sister.
copyright 2014, Kimberley Long-Ewing
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