Saturday, February 26, 2011

February 26, 1942

Bastards said we’d get a few days to go home after basic. Now they say we’re going straight back out into the field. Well, except for the half-dozen or so pussies in the company who went into non-combat positions, like my girl Eileen’s kid brother. I don’t know how those guys can even look themselves in the mirror.

At least Wes, her older brother, will see some combat every now and then, even if it’s only from two miles high. I don’t imagine the Japs are going to just sit there and watch the Air Corps bomb them to smithereens, but I don’t imagine he’s going to see much dirt, let alone blood, get on his hands up above all the shooting.

I wouldn’t want to be Eileen’s dad when this is all over. I know he’s just trying to be a good dad and do what he thinks is best for his girl, like she says, by keeping me away from her, but the time comes when folks have to let their kids go their way. I bet he thinks he really put one over on me sending out the town cop to bring her home from the river that last time, but I’ve got news for him: it’s not over, not by a long shot.

Next time I’m back in Caney, I’m going to be bigger and stronger than I ever was, I’m going to be missing Eileen something fierce, and he’s not going to have her brothers there to fight his battles for him. She’ll be eighteen soon, and then he won’t even have the Law on his side anymore.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not looking for a fight with him. He may think I’m shit, like my old man does, but he’s just trying to protect Eileen, which I can’t help but respect, since that’s all I want to do too. Plus, he’s her dad and she loves him, so I can’t hurt him too bad, even if he does try to stand between us.

There’s no good reason we can’t all get along, so I’ll start out nice and just ask him if he doesn’t think maybe he and I might have just gotten off on the wrong foot when we met last fall. I didn’t mean any disrespect to him with what I said. I was just trying to say if it had been anybody but my dad that hit me like that, they would’ve looked a hell of a lot worse than I did with that shiner right then. I guess I could’ve said it different somehow, but that’s all water under the bridge now.

The point is, I love Eileen and I know nobody’s going to take any better care of her than me. I don’t want to be on her folks’ bad side, but if that’s the way it’s got to be, then they’re the ones who are going to lose by it. I’ve already been through five states, and by the time I get back home, I’ll have seen a lot more of the world than a lot of folks. Nobody says Eileen and I have to spend one more minute of our lives in that town. Whether or not we want to is entirely up to them.