One Mississippi, Two Mississippi

by David James

Nights with no flight operations would find me out there on the fantail of my carrier, staring down, helped by the moon, watching the eerie, peaceful, green glow of the bioluminescent algae churned into that glowing by the ship's screws. It was a good place to miss my girl back home. To think about going home. It was my special place for such thoughts. Friend, Del, came out, walked over beside me. Del was making the Navy his career. He came from a place he called Nowhere, Arkansas. 

Del's visit out there was not for my reason. A letter from his wife back in Nowhere said she didn't want to be his wife anymore. Del's life was suddenly fucked up. He said, “My future is behind me.” We were bonded by lonesome, yes, but he also hurt. Bad Hurt, Crying Hurt. Goddamned Hurt. I said, “Del, look at all that water between us and home.” He was quiet a minute and then he said very softly, “Yeah, and that's just the top of it.”