Periodicals; Mormons; Religious thought; Philosophy and religion
Independent national quarterly established to express Mormon culture and examine the relevance of religion to secular life. It is edited by Mormons who wish to bring their faith into dialogue with human experience as a whole and to foster artistic and scholarly achievement based on their cultural heritage. The journal encourages a variety of viewpoints; although every effort is made to insure accurate scholarship and responsible judgment, the views expressed are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of the Mormon Church or of the editors.
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Rees, Robert A.
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The Clinic / 149 to feel. For nearly a month now, since his return home to Provo, he had wanted to touch things, lay his face against them, for it was as if he were more than deaf, dumb, and blind. He needed to use every square inch of his burning skin to feel, make his whole body a receiver tuned to emotion. He wanted to put his arms around people on the street he didn't even know, embrace trees, press against old buildings; he was afraid he was going insane. God and Jesus had become only pictures. He had been drafted two days after he got back from his mission. Steve had walked late at night to look at the houses of the girls he had gone with. At least half of the girls were married now; some had children. He looked at the places in front of their houses where he had parked with the girls. He had gone to their parties, been invited to dinners by their mothers. He kissed the girls goodnight on their porches. He knew which windows were the girls' bedrooms. But standing in the darkness looking at the houses, his arms folded tight across his chest, he had felt nothing. It was as if he had never known the girls, and had no rich memories of the laughter and warmth he could use. His mother mentioned the names of his old girl friends who were still single, but he did not phone them. His brothers had come home to see him. It was like talking to them underwater or through thick glass. He wanted to wear gloves when he was around people. He was afraid that some little boy might ask him how many people he had killed. Steve climbed the four steps from the clinic foyer to the waiting room. The big framed picture of Custer's last stand still hung on the wall above the radiator. The last man on his feet, Custer stood at the center of his dead and wounded men, a kneeling sergeant holding up the American flag on Custer's right side. Custer, a pistol in each hand, his long yellow hair blowing in the breeze, shot at two mounted war chiefs charging him from opposite directions with raised lances. Braves jumped from their horses to kill the wounded soldiers. Dozens of braves lay dead or wounded. Steve had learned all the faces as a boy. Mrs. Anderson sat at the reception desk talking to a man sitting on the green leather sofa. The man's right leg had been cut off just below the knee; a pair of crutches leaned against the wall behind him. The man's garments showed through his short-sleeved white shirt. The aquarium, yellow with afternoon light, stood before the large window. Mrs. Anderson turned. "Well, Steve, how nice to see you home again safe and sound. I noticed that one of the girls had made an appointment for you. I've talked to your mother in church about you. You've been home two or three weeks now haven't you?" Steve took a Life from the magazine rack. "Yes." "Mr. Simmons, you may not know Steve. He just got back from Vietnam. Before that he was on a mission for the Church in California, so he's been gone over four years altogether." The phone rang. "Is that right, son? Well, welcome home." Mr. Simmons leaned forward to shake his hand. "Always glad to see you boys get home from Vietnam in one piece. I was in the first war myself." Steve sat down on the black leather chair next to the aquarium, but he didn't open the Life. Mrs. Anderson pushed one of the buttons and put the phone back in the cradle. "My boy Richard and Steve were baptized the same Saturday and confirmed the same fast Sunday. I have a picture of them standing together in their white baptismal clothes. They were sweet. They grew up together. Richard