Letters From After, Day 5

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Dear Bunky,

I got to see Sandi today. She looked great except for the part where she was a wreck — exhausted looking, hair all disheveled, and acting as beaten as I’ve ever seen her. She was real depressed and didn’t feel like talking.

It kind of shook me to see her like that. I mean, I know how she feels, I look at our immediate prospects and all I see is chain link fence and barbed wire — some of the most beautiful nature I’ve ever seen on the other side, but we’re prisoners here. We grew up in the land of the free and political camps were something other countries did — bad countries with evil regimes — well, except for if you were Japanese Americans in World War II, and that was a long, long time ago and we feel bad about it now, don’t we?

But this is today, and if you told me last week that this is where we were headed, rounding up people who spoke out against The Powers That Be, I would have said come on, man, we’re being ruled by a bunch of angry old men and women like the Soviets in the ’80s when one tired eighty-something communist dies in office and is replaced by a guy almost as old or older, but it’s not like they’re setting up gulags or anything. And heck, a week later and I’m on Day 5 in a gulag. And Sandi looks and acts like her whole world died. I guess I feel that way, too, but I’m better at keeping up appearances.

The only thing good about the whole place is the food. Pork chops cooked to perfection tonight, apple sauce on the side, potatoes and green beans, and pumpkin pie for dessert.

And a whole day listening to people talking about how much better the country will be when we get out. They’ll have their great social safety net programs all installed and taking care of us by then. We won’t have to worry if we get sick or nothing.

I hate to cut it short, Bunky, but I gotta admit I don’t feel like writing much more, and we probably have to go listen to another lecture soon.

See you around, someday.

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