Flood

Dodge Map
The An Hoa Basin

Friday, September 6, 1968

The winds and rain continued.  The Song Vu Gia River had overflowed, and much of Arizona territory was now under water.  There were dozens of sampans with families, trying to survive.  For them, it was a crisis of survival.  We saw a water buffalo calf struggling for higher ground and could hear its panicked bellowing.

Serving two meals a day gave us a lot of spare time, and we tried to stay dry in the hooch.  We started a game of Hearts and played to 500.  During the game Reb asked what sort of message Margaret was sending with the two photos of her brother’s headstone.  After looking at them closer (one in focus — one out of focus), I saw the dates and said, “Did you notice it was the second anniversary of his death?”  Reb looked again and was surprised by this revelation.

Reb pondered this and said, “Why is one photo fuzzy?”  I answered, “Maybe she is letting him go.”  Reb said, “Yes, it must have been true.”  He was silent for a while, and Sumo put his two cents in, “I think she is depressed.”  Reb said, “How so?”  Sumo told him to look at the photo of her on the toilet . . . “She misses you but won’t say it.”

Again, Reb looked at the blurry photo and thought about this point of view . . . “What should I do?”  Sumo said, “Cheer her up with your sketch.  Add some panties around her ankles.”  We all laughed, but I could see Reb was concerned.

Later (in private) I told Reb to remember their commitment to “Collaborate.”  Getting too funny with this situation might backfire, “Think like an artist, not a lover.”  He said, “Yeah, thanks — it’s confusing.”

Next Edition:  Sunshine and Waterfalls

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