2004-10-11 00:17:45 (UTC)

The Things They Carried

is the name of a work of fiction by Tim O'Brien that was
recently recommended to me. It's hard for me to read.
Steven spent his first tour in Vietnam in the infantry.
Only after he died did I find out he'd won a Bronze Star and
a Purple Heart on that tour. I'd strongly suspected that he
had been wounded. I'd seen the scars on his leg and chest
but when I'd asked him about them he just shrugged and said
it had happened when he was a kid. I knew better. Those
scars were not that old. And they didn't look like the kind
of scars someone would get from say, falling off a bike.
Still, I didn't push it. He wanted to protect me and I let

I was told many years later how very important my letters
and photographs were to him and now I really do believe
that. He'd asked for a lock of my hair before he left and
when his effects were returned to me I found it tucked in
the last letter he'd received from me, the one he'd carried
with him when he was killed.
We are still having beautiful autumn weather. The skies are
clear, there are still produce stands with tomatoes, corn
and apples but there's a bit of a chill in the air in the
mornings now, the leaves are turning and the sun isn't
nearly as warm on my face when I go out in the yard.

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