DEVIL YOU KNOW
Jeep Driver, Petty Officer Third Class Brown, “Seamen you ok back there?”
Semen Green, “Yeah, i’m good, how long to Phu Cuong Fire Base?”
Brown, “About 35 miles out, so a hour.”
I’m in the back of the Jeep, it’s just me and the Brown.
The reason i’m in the back is if we’re attacked i can return fire better
in the back seat with my m-16, Señor, hacer usted comprende.
i’m sitting behind the driver at times, in the middle and on the far
side, it depends on what we come across headed down the road.
I’m looking out the window day dreaming, thought, i’m going to
be a writer some day, weird right.
Green, “I’m going to be a writer some day.”
Green, “This is one long ass day, how long have you been driving the Jeep?”
Brown, “Five months, nobody to fuck with me out here, but the gooks.”
Green, “Viet Cong, V.C., Victor Charles ‘Charlie’, “mother fucking Viet Cong.”
‘Crack,’ ‘crack,’ ‘crack’ sound from the drivers side.
i look out the window, there’s this field of palm trees, about 50 yards from the road, ten rows deep ten
rows across, each tree about fifteen feet apart, I see gun smoke coming
from one of the trees.
Brown, “That’s “Henry”, he does’t this shit every time we pass this
fucking row of trees.”
Green, “This mother fucker don’t know me, fuck him, i ain’t did a fucking
thing to him, that’s just fucked up.”
Brown, “Kid, your funny, he don’t know me, now that’s some funny shit.”
“Where you from?”
Green, “Ogden, Utah, home of the Ben Lomond Scots, and the Weber State
Brown, “Your the first Black Scot I’ve ever seen, Damn we’re neighors,
i’m from Laramie, Wyoming.”
Green “I know that the capital is Cheyenne, and that one college team that
has those brown uniforms.”
Brown, “That me, The University of Wyoming, Cowboys in Laramie.”
My dad’s been the Local Sheriff for the last fourteen years.”
Green, “That’s nice.”
Green, “Those girls that would come down to Utah, with the
Cowboys, man they had some fat asses.”
We’re 10 miles from Phu Cuong.
We sit in silence, i go in my seabag and pull out my portable cassette player, and start to
play a tape of songs i had recorded. Brown likes the music so
we’re cool for the rest of the way to the base camp listening to the music.