It was just about time. I came apart like a toy watch when it hit. I’d pictured myself with both feet planted firmly, standing up to the tsunami, standing up to the raging fire, standing up to the oil spill, standing up to the pandemic, standing up to the last wisp of smoke at the end of all of everything.

When it came, though, I crumbled like cornmeal. Outside of my window I saw that things were going wrong, but when I looked for my backbone, I found it hidden in the warm, smoggy day. The smell of burning oil, the smell of old cooking grease, the grey spongy matter washing up against the shore – these sat just outside of my small sanctuary, and I sat looking at the calendar. When will I go home, when will I go home, when will I go home?  rolled through the circle cage in my brain. I thought this was the Peace Corps; this is not the Peace Corps, this is the Piece Corpse, hunks of former bodies, bayonets, screams of animals and people. Next thing is a series of flashing lights and darkness, and hunching under a blanket in an open truck that smokes, and staying silent as a sack of potatoes. The day approaches and shortly before it arrives another man comes, short and soft spoken, to take us to the airport. Already I am picturing myself sending postcards, buying stamps, writing letters, soaking in the long deep tub at the quiet old hotel. I picture the postcards when I sleep, placing the stamp, opening the mail box, the little worried thrill that I’ve dropped the wrong letter, the one I never meant to send, the one you should only open if you hear that I died in that jungle.


2 Responses to “Crumbled”

  1. 1 Neeks September 27, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    Wow! Great post, riveting and full of suspense.

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