Sam Drummond

My mother named me Sam Drummond, Junior, after my father whom I never knew. She keeps his picture in a jewelry box on her dresser, along with the one letter she received from him before he went missing in Vietnam in 1972. I used to sneak into her room sometimes and stare at that picture and read the letter over and over again, never failing to be mesmerized, as if expecting a revelation to emerge which would be the key that would unlock the deadbolt of a door deep within me. The man in the color Polaroid, my father, Sam Drummond, looks young and strong, holding up a lunker trout which glistens metallically against the backdrop of blue sky and jagged green horizon. Do I discern myself in his broad smile and the irony playing in his eyes? Not really. Once upon a time, maybe, but now I have outgrown my father. He is a spirit, forever young, and I turned thirty last week, the age at which Jesus changed water into wine. The letter stands in juxtaposition to the picture and it is in mirroring one against the other, as when the hairstylist holds a mirror up so you can see the back of your head in the mirror in front of you, that I have tried to catch sight of my father’s ghost standing behind me. The letter fills a single sheet of Air Force issue stationary, folded in half and then in thirds to fit a small envelope. The handwriting is nearly illegible, but strikes one as strong and self-assured for a dude of twenty. “Dear Louise,” it begins, “Saigon is the hottest, stickiest, most godforsaken place I’ve ever had the pleasure of vacationing in.”


  1. Alison VonDerLand says

    If this is the beginning of a story or novel, you should continue with it, dude. I’m interested in finding out more about this character.

  2. Anonymous says

    He gave me a watch which I kept in my anus.

  3. Jonathan Potter says

    … and now the picture and letter are safely cached there too.

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