The soldiers came upon an old man's corpse, and each greeted him in some form. Some gave him a five five and others shook his hand. They talked to him, sat him upright, gave him food, and pretended like he was their guest. Like nothing was wrong at all. Tim refused to pretend the dead man was alive. He just arrived in Vietnam four days ago and wasn't used to the death.
DEAD AT NINE YEARS
Tim is reminded in Vietnam of his childhood, of a time when he and Linda were in love. They were nine years old and on their way home from their first date. They never said it, but they loved each other, and both of them knew it.
DREAMS AND EXTERNAL REALITIES
Just a crunchie munchie.
Linda always wore a red cap. It looked much a santa hat. Nick, a classmate, always tried to take it off of her. During a spelling test, Nick sharpened his pencil, and on his way back to his desk, purposely dropped it next to Linda. When he stood up, he took her cap off, and all that showed underneath was a bit patchy hair, a large bandaid, and a lot of white scalp.
STORIES AND TALKING CORPSES
Quite unfamiliar with death, Timmy went to see Linda in her casket. He couldn't quite grasp that her brain tumor had killed her, and that she was gone. What he saw in the casket did not look like Linda. The body was fatter, swollen, and dead. Heavy and dead.
Nine-year-old Timmy spent many hours in bed, asleep. He made up dreams about Linda, and she would be there, alive somehow. She would talk and walk and sit with Timmy. But then he would wake himself into reality, a reality his stories could not save him from, a reality with death.
In Vietnam, the soldiers gave realities to the dead. They told false stories about their fellow men and talked about them like they were alive. When they talked to the corpses, sometimes another soldier would reply for the corpse. This is how the soldiers coped with all the death.