Maybe A Wasp Took It

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July 2nd, 2010

There’s a famous story in our family, told more often than the intercom under Rodney’s bed story. Late 1960s Yellow Springs, Ohio. My brother Scott and cousin Chris play with plastic army men. Chris’s soldier disappears. Scott is blamed. Scott is always blamed. “Maybe a wasp took it,” he responds. Today, a few wasps buzz […]

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There’s a famous story in our family, told more often than the intercom under Rodney’s bed story. Late 1960s Yellow Springs, Ohio. My brother Scott and cousin Chris play with plastic army men. Chris’s soldier disappears. Scott is blamed. Scott is always blamed. “Maybe a wasp took it,” he responds.

Today, a few wasps buzz my window from an unseen papier mache colony. Outside on the 1st floor roof, the 2nd story men walk by, looking for the wasps.

It’s a preposterous notion, an insect carrying away a member of the U.S. Armed forces. No matter how tiny, he’s still a Marine. Special Forces I’m guessing. Whoo-ah.

Outside, the working men walk by, looking at cooling units.https://readthespirit.com/rodney-curtis/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2013/03/wpid-rcplasticsoldier.jpg

Kids see things as right or wrong, black or white. Secretly, adults do too. Health is right, Leukemia is wrong. Crack me open, you’ll find health. Leukemia is a game of army men. The tiny, stolen Marine sets fire to my marrow. The disease is like tinder, like kindling, like kerosene flaring up as he patrols my bones, faceless.

Outside, the working men walk by, looking for leaks.

My cousin and brother haven’t stopped squabbling about the MIA soldier lost in the Ohio jungles. Both will be tested though for marrow matches. Our identical twin mothers make it seem plausible. I’m lucky; I’m Caucasian. Matches aplenty are possible. I’m a W.A.S.P. My soul is pained for my brothers and cousins of different races who are so much less likely to find a match.

The little green man, either kneeling or lying down or most likely crouched, carrying a flame thrower has set a fire circle around my hips and pelvis. There lies the biggest concentration of bone. How the man with no face laughs. He’s calling out to the disease mocking it. “Suck it mutha sucka.” Pardon his French.

Those wasps at the window want to carry him away.

Each rib is a curvy trench. Each toe a foxhole. He’s Special Forces; he knows the hiding places. Grenades the size of molded plastic dots are thrown into the dicier areas. Snap, crackle, pop cancer krispies.

Thanks for the soldier Scott. You knew way back then your little brother would need him. Sorry Chris, I’ll buy you a whole new platoon.

Outside, the working men work.

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