Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Hurry Up and Wait

May, 1944

Dearest Bob:

It seems the world is holding its breath like an angry toddler. But General Eisenhower's a patient parent, impervious as to whether humanity turns blue.

Everything's slowed to a crawl, and the talk's of little else but invasion. Strange how time passes slower and slower the more you want something. But glacial as it must be for everyone else, I'm a boulder in a speeding rapid while I wait for your return.

A fellow I once met (never mind who he is, he's not important) said I reminded him of Penelope, the wife of Odysseus. You remember, from the Trojan War. I had to climb on a chair and get my old college books off the high shelf to remind myself of the rest of the story.

It seems Penelope waited twenty years for Odysseus' return. She was thronged by a hundred suitors, each urging her to give her husband up for dead. But she wouldn't. Being only a woman she hadn't the brawn to fend off the would-be bridegrooms so she used her brains instead. She told her ardent admirers she'd marry when she finished weaving her father-in-law's burial shroud. Every day she wove, and every night she'd secretly undo most of the weaving. Being thickheaded lunks, the suitors never caught on to the trick until it was too late: Odysseus returned and shot all of them dead with arrows.

I hardly have a hundred suitors, but there have been a couple of pests lurking about. Don't you worry, I'll send them all packing, so there won't be any need for arrows when you return. I just need to figure out what to do. Taking my day's bomber-building apart each night isn't realistic, but if Penelope could hold off a hundred men I can take care of a wolf or two.

I just hope it's less than twenty years before you return.

Your loving wife


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