Goin Down To Toxic Town 

It’s a cold, grey, morning. Mayberry is quietly accepting of the day, such as it is. An almost imperceptible breeze moves through nearly bare trees, gently suggesting that what remains should fall. I adore this place. 

I’m going to Toxic Town midweek to see my doctor. I’m only staying overnight and will be coming home right after my appointment. My brother, Captain Crazy, is staying at Mom’s house and I cannot handle being there with him lurking about. He threatened my life when I was there for Christmas. He did so in a voice that sounded exactly like a little girl. I’m used to dealing with the men who live in his head, but my macho, gruff, bearded man of a brother speaking to me in that voice was bone chilling. I screamed at him to stay away from me, upset that I’d forgotten to bring my gun on the visit. He’s hit me before and I’m absolutely no match for him. He walked into the kitchen and I could hear the little girl voice telling the others to do away with me. They were all discussing it like a group of friends might discuss where to have lunch. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep again until I was home safe in Mayberry. 

There are lots of reasons that I’d rather avoid going to Toxic Town. Mainly, in spite of the Captain’s insanity, it’s that my dad doesn’t recognize me anymore. I knew this day would come but, when it happened during my Christmas visit, I found that I’m not prepared for it. Not at all. I’m worried that it’s only going to be worse each time I see him. We can barely even have a conversation about anything from our mutual past. We do talk about the war. That, he remembers. I find it so odd that he’d recall something he experienced a lifetime ago, but forgets who I am. That says a lot about war, I think. I’m glad to listen to his stories. I’m the only one who knows them as he tells them. Everyone else hears them from me. Dad’s told me war stories my whole life. As I got much older, I realized that I was the only one in the family that knew his stories. One day, I asked him why that was. Dad told me that I was the only one who’d ever asked about his time in the Corps. To this day, I think that’s the saddest thing I ever heard. Every veteran needs someone who wants to know their stories. They should at least feel like they can tell them, and not have to keep war buried inside of them. War is a huge and hungry thing. So huge that it’s the one certain memory left of a 93 year old man who has even forgotten the face of his daughter. That blows my mind and breaks my heart. 

I suppose that I should set aside this blanket and get something done around here. I’d much rather sit here, at my window, watching for those stubborn lil leaves to fall… 

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