The Wire | 'We Could've Been Happy Here'
An excerpt from Keith Lesmeister's story collection, We Could've Been Happy Here (Midwestern Gothic):
When he got to the camper, twenty feet from the wood-pile, he turned around. My dad was medium-sized with no special characteristics. He wore jeans and his arms hung at his sides. At that moment he seemed distant, like was recalling some memory. Then he took off his baseball cap and rubbed his bald spot. "Here's the deal," he said. "You knew I was the smallest man on our crew in Nam?"
"Yeah, you told me."
"But I was also fearless and agile so they designated me as Tunnel Rat." He was talking to the ground. "Veit Cong had elaborate tunnels and underground hideouts, and I'd crawl into those burrows where there were poisonous spiders and ants, booby traps, scorpions. Sometimes humans." He set his hands on his head. A truck rumbled by, interrupting his thoughts. "Anyway," he said, looking back at me, "it's not a woodchuck—they're messy and careless." He put his ball cap back on. "Just trap the damn animal, and cover the hole."