A letter to Frank Weatherman

by on September 24, 2013 :: 0 comments

photo by Tyler Malone

Dear Frank,

How are you? I hope the journey was smooth for you. What is life in Okinawa like?

The day you left, I thought the clouds were falling on me and the sun had vanished. My lonely self consumed by the weight of emptiness. One time I thought I was going blind from the cascading tears blurring my vision.

Stevie Ray Vaughn’s song “Bad to the Bone” and Billy idol’s “Sweet sixteen” were playing in my ears non-stop. I am delighted you left them for me.

The day you left, Tita took the afternoon off work. She accompanied me and entertained my erratic moods. Another time, she drove me to the side entrance of the American Embassy. I felt strangely rooted, unable to move. I imagined you walking out the back gate to greet us. I waited in vain. I was being foolish. When Raju the driver waved to me as he was leaving the embassy, I left. It was a painful realization that you would never appear.

Tita, my driver for that day, spent a long time driving me around to keep my mind occupied. She is a good friend. She took me to the massage parlor. We both had a full body massage. Perhaps, better still, I needed a head and heart massage. I know this does not make sense. Frozen in my fevered state of mind, nothing makes sense at the moment.

I know I will not see you again, because you reminded me time and time again that once you leave Kuala Lumpur, that would probably be the last we ever see each other. The thought is making my chest constrict.

I am looking at all the photos we took together. I am smiling at the one we took with your staff sergeant, and another with the Ambassador with the rest of the Marines surrounding the enormous cake. The evening began with a whirl of sensations as we stepped into the large ballroom, with your elbow cocked up for me to link onto. An introduction to the USMC Birthday Ball, overflowing with excitement, I was nervous at first. I gazed transfixed at how handsome you looked in the dress blue uniform.

“I like the way the dress swishes,” you said, looking at my black lace dress.

Greg invited me for the coming TGIF party at the embassy. I am not sure I if I want to attend. It is too soon. Greg thought it would do me good. He said that it would take my mind off you.

Tita was suprised when I first told her about us. She knew that there would a tearful goodbye, due to your job. And I don’t remember how many more tours of duty you have to do? I was suddenly aware how quickly time passed.

I will be celebrating my twenty-sixth birthday, sadly without you. Your twenty-second birthday will be coming up soon.

I recall you showed me around the embassy, and the special room that you provide special protection to the ambassador in most extreme situations, that is just unreal! Malaysia is a peaceful country unlike the other countries that you go on your missions, so I do not think there will any security threat. Only one time in 1975 when the Japanese Red army attacked the American Consulate. The situation has been quiet and calm since.

I looked up Okinawa on the map; it is quite a big island. I saw six USMC bases located on the island, perhaps more. I wonder how long you will be base there, and I guess you cannot tell me. And I do not care, as long as I know you are doing fine.

I read an article on the 1995 Okinawa rape incident. Two US servicemen and two US Marines (from Camp Hansen) kidnapped a 12-year-old Japanese girl. I wonder how she is getting on with her life. The US Navy Admiral Richard Macke was removed from his post over insensitive remarks he made on this incident. The Japanese debated over the continued presence of US forces in Japan over this incident.

Looking around this room, with your things you left behind—the guitar, the books, such as The Corps, Marine Manual (interesting information), also Planes, Jets and Helicopters. I’m fascinated reading the work the Marines do. With all the books you left for me, I suppose one day I can write a story on the USMC, involving a lot of research, though. I will have to take lessons on the guitar. It is a wonder how those inanimate things can convey a feeling of warmth and comfort for me.

Not that I need anything to remind me of you, I just have to close my eyes.

Your lingering silhouette! Losing myself with every remembrance, craving, writhing in your warmth. Each brush of skin on mine, finger traces places, colliding of our eager lips. Intoxicated from the taste of you!

Perhaps my life story is scripted that we met. There is a pleasure-pain continuum, the drama of a broken heart, to soak in an atmosphere of a silken memory of a first love. This ache in my heart, so beautiful will be forever framed in my soul.

I listened to “Broken Wings” in the car this morning, one slow tear traced down my face. I love the brilliant music arrangement, the sound of crash cymbal and electric guitar. The song is inspired by the novel Broken Wings, a poetic novel of tragic love (First published in Arabic in 1912). Is that the reason you left the tape for me? “Take these broken wings and learn to fly again.”

Shakespeare said, “May one catch the plague. Love is merely a madness.”

I will be fine with time, Frank.

“Semper Fidelis”

Your delicate flower,

editors note:

Madness, those are the marching orders we all follow with our tongues out, holding to hope like gentlemen hold open doors for the ladies behind them, hoping that the beautiful blonde notices. But she doesn’t. Her mind is on a man a thousand miles away, who isn’t thinking about anything other than his gun and his own madness. – Tyler Malone

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