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It is my 478th...no...my 479th day. I have seen through the missing mortar 479 sunsets and 479 sunrises. There are 74 cracks in the concrete floor...18 have shown up within the last 2 weeks. My daily walk of 280 steps....that is 20 times around the cell...keeps my mind clear. Not the walking but the counting over and over again. The spider web in the corner of the ceiling now has babies...and they are beginning to explore off the web. This is nothing new...I count them as they make their way to my rug where I sleep...then ...just before they reach the rug, I kill them...one by one.
Rice again today. I hear the television down the corridor. They don't think I can hear it...but I can and I tell everyone in the cell block the news of the war by tapping on the wooden crate. Nixon ended the war today...hold on just a bit more...keep counting...keep walking...
I miss my parents, my home town and Jill if she is still there...
It has been 479 sunsets and sunrises since I have bit into a fresh, red ripe tomato. I go through the complete process each day in my mind...holding it - just picked off the vine. Biting into it, the juice runs down my chin. The meat of the tomato has such solid texture, the slight acid catches in the back of my throat and I relish the taste...the smell...the smell only a tomato vine can give. That is the scent of home...summers in the garden when the first tomato is picked.
I must hold on a bit longer and i will again taste that tomato at home...we all will taste tomatoes...as many as we can eat. Handfuls of rice from the Hanoi Hilton do not compare to tomatoes raised in Indiana soil.
Another crack in the concrete...that makes 75...I pull out the piece of mortar and make another scratch on the wall.
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