A Love Story

~ Clyde Collins ~

     A place of ultimate contentment, the Pure Zone, existed in a corner of the mind of PFC Donald Duty, inspiration specialist, Poetics Lab.

     In this Pure Zone between his ears, there blew a gentle cool breeze over a limitless field of green, green grass.  The grass cheerfully, constantly waved "howdy" while an infinite herd of fat cows, dumb and content, munched on it.  The sun always shined.  It never rained.  There were no flies or cow paddies.

     Somewhere in the midst of the lackadaisical cows, under a tree on a small knoll, Duty and Sp5 Denise Daisy, assistant ward master, Ward Pluto, sat together.  They sat upon a colorful, smartly designed, afghan blanket knitted by Duty's grandma in another age.  In the Pure Zone of the PFC's mind, he and Daisy picnicked eternally.

     When the cows mooed, they did so in cohesive chorus and created the ultimate melody.  Occasionally a bird perched itself on a branch of the tree on the little knoll and chirped, which did nothing but add even more charm to the scene.

     Not too far away was Duty's hometown, Buttermilk, Kan.  But nobody could reach Daisy and Duty because the cow herd, being infinite, surrounded everything.

     The Pure Zone in Duty's head was largely responsible for the charismatic grin that was always (well, almost always) dancing around on his face as he accomplished mission after mission at Tripler Army Medical Center.

     However, in actuality Daisy married Sgt. Mickey Kandoo, bad dude, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks.  She moved out of the TAMC barracks to live with her infantryman in Aliamanu Military Reservation (AMR).  When she did this, Duty's Pure Zone was shattered.

     Duty could not sleep.  Duty could not eat.  One day at noon a few weeks after her wedding, in the TAMC dining facility, Daisy happened to notice that her little buddy looked like death warmed over.  She parked her tray of good Army chow on the table next to Duty's and said, "Hi."

     "Hi," moaned Duty.

     "What's wrong, Donald?"  she inquired with a deep furrow of sincerity upon her brow.  "You look like death warmed over."

     Duty tried to swallow a mouth full of fresh buttered peas and coughed it up.  "I'm sorry, Denise.  Ever since you got married I haven't been able to eat or sleep.  I guess I love you.  But since you got married there's nothing I can do about it except roll over and die."

     "Oh Donald," said Daisy in a barely audible whisper.  Tears suddenly sparkled in the corners of her eyes.  She was speechless for a long moment.  Finally under the table her hand touched Duty's hand and squeezed it.  This was the only time Daisy and Duty had ever touched.  "You're the best friend I have," said Daisy.

     The juices in the PFC's brain gushed like a refreshing cloudburst and in the Pure Zone a single flower radiantly bloomed.  He attacked the peas on his plate with a new fervor and successfully swallowed every one.

     "Oh boy, am I hungry!" grinned Duty.


photo above:

Raquel Welch "The Magic Christian" 1970


photo below: