The fog is thick today on North Brother Island, and so I can’t simply look over the river and guess where you might now be loitering. They tell us we can roam the grounds as much as we want, but I wish I could walk on water and skip right out of this place. What a riot it’d be to show up at the club right now in my patient tunic. I can just see Stan’s face, that bum. Give my regards to the boys (and the ladies, too, but remember who’s whose). When I get out of this silly business, I will buy you a new racquet, and we will play in the park like last summer. You won’t destroy this one, promise?
Last we ran into each other at the hall, you mentioned your fondness for mangosteens from your time in Rangoon. As you were saying, there’s some sort of import ban on them, but my friend Jack knows a guy in customs. So here you go, whole entire fruits. They’ll taste magnificently different from what extracts and juice you’ve tried. I personally like them a little chilled, but my fridge is broken. Mice.
Remember that time you called me up, crying and all upset about some documentary you’d just watched? I remember that it was about monarch butterflies and how especially vulnerable they were to sudden freezes. All those useless wings flapping on the ground. I thought about you again, and not just because it’s your birthday, but because I’m eating lunch on the patio, and a monarch just landed in my soup.
Hey, there, Montgomery,
Heard you met up with Arnie and Fred. Tell them that once they’ve got that private-sector space program going, they owe a sleeping berth for me and a couple of hookers. Poker game, 1971, poolside at Greenspun’s, if that’ll jog their memory.
You know those puppies I told you about last time? Three got run over yesterday. Pa’s tractor. He said he didn’t mean to. What a pitiful mess. Weather must be nice in Hawaii. Drink me some tropical cocktails and kiss me an island girl.
Thanks for the card. They’ve got me in An Khe for a few more weeks, then back to the LZ, which right now seems like civilization, if you can believe it. Too many F.N.G.s here and my billet smells like piss. And guess who I saw here the other day. Dicey Fred. Can’t believe that asshole’s now a shorter. How in hell did that guy make it this far along? Someone ought to have shot him in the mouth when they had a chance and saved us the trouble.
We’re going to be home for the holidays! Can hardly wait to see you! Keep the pool nice and warm, and please buy some apple juice for Anders the next time you go shopping. It’s the only brown liquid we can let him drink these days.
Third day and the attacks haven’t let up. This morning, a pack of capuchins pulled down a worker from a banana tree and ate half his face off. We were able to get to him only after Simon scared them away with a chainsaw. He won’t make it. Then just an hour ago it began snowing. Remember that freak blizzard 20 years ago? It’s worse. The whole plantation is covered. Nobody has ever seen snow like this. We made raspados for the children before clearing the electrified razor wire of charred squirrel monkeys. Tomorrow the colonel will arrive.
Thanks for the tip. Karen and I are in Oslo, and have found that they’re very open to autoerotic asphyxiation, at least more so than in Berlin. Karen found the most delightful shop, and we are most impressed by Scandinavian design. We just put something for you in the mail (hope we have your neck size right).
Bob & Karen
I’m happy to announce plans for the 1984 McLeod family reunion. It’ll be this Saturday, June 26 at 12 p.m. in Cutter Mill Park, Great Neck, N.Y. We’ll be reserving picnic tables. Cousin Joseph also wants this to be something of a late wedding reception for him and Barbara, but in lieu of gifts, please make a contribution to North Shore Animal League.
I hope everyone will be able to make it. And of course, NO concealed firearms this time.
Dear Mighty Woman,
I’m writing because a bad person stole my birthday cake. Mommy said someone took it from the table in our kitchen. She said she swears that daddy did not forget like last year. We lit some candles on top of a piece of toast and I blew on those. But there was no cake. Please help me find my cake.
I shot at a mountain lion today. Don’t think I made a scratch. It slipped back into the woods as quiet and calm as it came. Otherwise, I’d be smoking the hams and we’d be eating cat next time I head back to Cedar City. Would have gone well with Ma’s corn muffins.
Please disregard the previous two communications. The new pair of passcodes is bicoastal and twin roses. Meet Mr. Lipinski at the Mayfair duplex two hours past the usual time. Knock twice. Don’t doublecross us.
Hey, Tony, listen, I got some Grade A legs ready to vacuum-freeze and ship. Yeah, good stuff. My harvesters are very expert, as you know. I’m going to throw in a few extra ones for you and the new Mrs.—consider them her high school graduation present. And say hello to Jackie for me, alright? Yeah, I heard about the you-know. I couldn’t believe it. Anyway, I gotta go. Some kinda tropical depression’s on the way. It’s gonna be good for business.
So this was what happened. I arrived at the bar late, sat down anyway, and ordered a stout. I was halfway done with it when a waitress plopped a plate of fries in front of me. “Courtesy of the lady in the booth.” I turned around. A tall blond woman was staring at me. I walked up to her. “How did you know?” “A man can always use some fries,” she said. “Thank you,” I said. “Can I share them with you?” “I’m on my way out,” she said. “But here, have my ketchup.” I took the bottle. “What’s your name?” I asked. “Nadia,” she said. “Nadia with a silent K and a very loud Z.” She grabbed a black fur hat from a coat hook. “My mother bought this for my 15th birthday. When I put my nose to it, I can still smell the goulash she made for us.” She put the hat on, then her chinchilla coat. I watched her step out into the falling snow.
In this town, you’re going to need a better boob job.