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Lisa Boylan  Sam Flute

Sam says, “I’ll call you, girl. You’ll be up in Syracuse before you know it.” But this time Sam doesn’t call. I see him when he’s home for Christmas a couple of times. One night we walk down to the Potomac and sit on a park bench. I lay my head on his lap and he leans down and kisses me, with the concentric arches of Key Bridge in the background. Another time, I run into Bobby at a party in Adams Morgan. He asks me how I am. I ask him how Sam is. He says, “He’s living in Kansas now with a woman named Rose.” The words unfold like information on ticker tape, forming one unwanted sentence. I talk to Bobby for a while and I see him watching my eyes and hands as I talk, mostly my hands. He says, “You know, talking to you like this, I can see why my brother loved you so much.” Then he breaks into a big smile that illuminates my life for a second. Finally no subtext, just boneless flesh. I don’t hear anything about Sam until his postcard finds its way to my mother’s house, all these years later. She forgets to tell me and puts it in my purse when I am visiting. When I get back to my apartment, I pull out my checkbook and the postcard of Tucumcari falls to the floor, like a message in a bottle. In my letter back to Sam I give him my email address so I can check for his response here at my computer beneath Georgetown University’s campus in the Department of Landscaping. One day his address pops up on my screen, unmistakable, He writes,

Hey Girl, long time, no see /. Regarding your questions about me, men do not “grow up,” doncha know? Motorcycles and females are the main game in town. I’m out in California now and I drive a big truck. More importantly, I have a gorgeous purple Harley-Davidson. I had it custom built and rode it across country. I spent some time in Kansas on the way, visiting friends. I lived there for almost 8 years. I miss you and our youth, but I believe we all miss the latter to some extent. I’m positive you are attractive as ever. When we were together, I believe I loved you fiercely. I blame my own foolishness for losing you. Do you remember denting my pickup hood one afternoon on the Chesapeake? My memory says it was

Sam Flute  
Sam Flute  

Story I wrote about Tucumcari in an anthology of DC women's writers.