I THINK OF YOU
Hawkeye is back in Maine with thoughts of only one person.
An established relationship story.
Written October: 2010. Word count: 1,000.
Hawkeye sits at his desk; he can hear his dad in the kitchen preparing dinner for them. He looks at the pristine white pages of the diary he bought once he'd returned home from Korea. The diary he'd vowed to write in every day; the place he'd share his thoughts; it was to have been the way he would ease the aching pain he stills feels. The pain that's so great some days he knows he'd give anything, everything, to return to Korea.
He's been home for nine months now and not one page has been written on. He sighs and grabs a notepad and opens that. It's also white; it's also pristine; it's also devoid of writing.
That had been another thing he'd promised himself: he'd write to BJ regularly. He'd tell him about his life in Maine; he'd tell him about his dad; he'd tell him about how good it felt to persuade the inhabitants of Crabapple Cover to say 'aaaah'; he'd even ask about Peg and Erin. But one thing he vowed he wouldn't do was to tell BJ how much he misses him; how much he still loves him; how empty his life is without him; how not a day, an hour, sometimes a minute goes by when he doesn't think about him.
He's kept the second vow, but not the first. Not one letter; not one paragraph; not one line; not one word has he written to the man he not only thinks about, he dreams about. The one person who makes him wish for his life of hell in Korea to return.
He picks up his pen; he is going to write something; he can't stand staring at the pristine white pages any longer. He's torn between writing in his diary or writing a letter. He thinks about it. In the end the need to write to BJ rather than about BJ is too strong.
Crabapple Cove is just as I expected it to be. Nothing seems to have changed, not the people, not their ailments, not how they see me. Some of them still won't let me treat them; apparently I'm too young; they only trust Dad. I reckon some of them think I'm still twelve years old. Dad just smiles when I tell him, he assures me in another ten years or so, they'll trust me, they'll let me treat them. They'll ask for Dr. Ben, not Dr. Pierce. He's confident, but I'm not so sure.
But it's good, I enjoy the practice, I like the people - even those who donít believe I'm a real doctor. I like the slow pace of life. I know some people weren't sure I was doing the right thing by not going back to a big hospital. But it was the right thing to do. Crabapple Cove gives me time to think and that's what I do.
I think. I think, Beej. I think of you, at least I do from time to time.
When I wake up in the morning I think of you. When I'm showering I think of you. When I'm brushing my teeth I think of you. When I smell coffee I think of you. When Dad and I are eating breakfast I'm talking to him but I'm thinking of you.
When I see my patients I think of you. When I go fishing I think of you. When I look at the trees, the flowers, the bushes, I think of you. When it rains I think of you. When the wind blows I think of you. When the sun shines I think of you. When a leaf falls from a tree I think of you. When it snowed I thought of you.
When I look into the eyes of my patients I think of you. When someone laughs I think of you. When a child cries I think of you. When I hear someone tell a joke I think of you. When I shake someone's hand I think of you. When I take a temperature I think of you. When someone speaks to me I think of you.
When I see a man a few inches taller than me I think of you. When I see a moustache I think of you. When I see something green I think of you. When I see blood I think of you. When I smell antiseptic I think of you. When I put a bandage on someone I think of you. When I look at an x-ray I think of you.
When I'm driving around I think of you. When I'm helping Dad fix the guttering I think of you. When I hear a familiar name I think of you. When I get a letter from Radar or Margaret or Father Mulcahy or Colonel Potter or Klinger or Charles - yes, even Charles writes - I think of you.
When I'm making dinner I think of you. When Dad and I are eating dinner I think of you. When we sit together in the evenings sharing a drink or two or three I think of you.
When I'm reading a book or a patient's file I think of you. When I hear music I think of you. When I listen to the radio I think of you. When I watch TV - Dad insisted we get one - I think of you.
When I'm undressing at night I think of you. When I'm waiting for sleep to finally claim me I think of you. When I'm at that final stage just before slipping from being awake to being asleep I think of you. When I dream I dream of you.
But other than those times, Beej, I don't think of you at all.
Hawkeye puts down his pen, reads what he's written and hesitates.
Then he folds the paper in half and slips it inside his diary, puts his pen back down, stands up and heads down stairs to where his dad is waiting.
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