Letters From After, Day 3

 © Flying2lowak | Dreamstime.com

[Day 1] [Day 2]

Dear Bunky,

I suppose they don’t want us being comforted by friends or family while we’re in here. I haven’t seen Sandi since we got here, and none of the people in our barracks are friends or neighbors even though I know plenty of folks who, if I belong here, have been punching their ticket to this place longer and louder than I have.

What did God create on the third day? I can’t remember, and we don’t get books, so I can’t look it up. On the third day here, the gods of this place created boredom. Maybe it’s the weekend, but the yammerers have taken the day off, no speechifying today. They just left us in the barracks and told us not to talk among ourselves, so it was lie down and sleep or think or write letters to our friends, so here I am again. I’m writing this like they’re going to mail it for me and you’re going to read it someday, which is probably bunk, Bunk, but you never know. Maybe the camp shrink thought this would be a peaceful way for us to let off some steam, because we’re all so angry, don’t you know, we’re just cauldrons of hate and resentment and meanness and bigotry just waiting to explode, so rather than give us no outlet at all for our rage, they let us draw pictures and write letters to our pals. Except nobody does write anymore, right? We send texts and post on social media.

Here’s something I just thought of: If anyone is a cauldron of hate and resentment and meanness and bigotry, it’s the angry old women and men who have been running the show. They hate anyone who pays them no mind, they hate anyone who doesn’t agree with them, they just hate all day and half the night and then spend the rest of the night yelling at the rest of us for being so hateful. Tossing us all into camps is their way of screaming, “Pay attention to me!” and holding their breaths and turning blue. I mean, the old figurehead popped a cork and said, “We are running out of patience with you yahoos” or some such. And when we said, “Oooh, scary, what are you going to do about it?” I guess we found out we shouldn’t have baited the beast, because here we are.

The food was good for a third day in a row, though. I probably shouldn’t keep saying that, because eventually they’ll figure out that they can torture me by giving me crappy food or no food at all. There you go — They’ll start giving me anchovie pizza every night until I start yelling “The Party is right! I need the state to take care of me! Give me those pills! Where’s my electric car? Down with capitalist pigs!”

I wonder how Sandi is doing. She doesn’t suffer fools very well, and the whole idea of this camp is foolish.

We did get an hour outdoors today, and I walked along the water and through a path they have built through the woods. There’s the usual assortment of birds, and I saw a squirrel or two — holy crap, what’s going to happen to Shemp? I suppose if they were going to kill him it’s already done, but I hope they gave him to a neighbor or at least a decent shelter. Everyone loves yellow labs, they’d be idiots to hurt him. Why does the idea they would hurt my dog upset me more than sticking me in this camp? He’s just a dog — or maybe that’s it — he’s just a dog. He didn’t say the old folks running the country are crooks and crazies, he just sat and loved us and did what dogs do all day and night.

I was about to write that I want to go home, but I don’t think there’s any going home after this, if by home you mean it’s back to the life we were living before all this happened. Our eyes are opened now to the bad stuff the angry old folks were planning. I remember thinking they can’t be serious about that foolishness and how would they ever enforce it? Well, yes, they are serious, and this is how they plan to pull it off. Shucks, folks, I’m speechless, they’re not just old and angry pinheads, they’re evil and dangerous pinheads. Should have known, I suppose.

Published by WarrenBluhm

Wordsmith and podcaster, Warren is a reporter, editor and storyteller who lives near the shores of Green Bay with his wife, two golden retrievers, Dejah and Summer, and Blackberry, an insistent cat. Author of Full, Refuse to be Afraid, Gladness is Infectious, 24 flashes, How to Play a Blue Guitar, Myke Phoenix: The Complete Novelettes, A Bridge at Crossroads, The Imaginary Bomb, A Scream of Consciousness, and The Imaginary Revolution.

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