Amy sits and touches his shoulder gently, trying to catch his eyes and bring them back. Here, now. Be with me: "That's ridiculous. I've seen who you are inside. I've been there. And you're good." Oh the way the V lets her walk about inside him and tell him things he never knew. He jerks away; it's too much. Boys don't. She turns his face to hers, daring him to hear her. Daring him to see her, seeing him. Seeing himself matter. She wipes away his tears, and sees it in his eyes: he does. As long as nobody moves and nothing changes and nobody reminds him what he's lost, yes: he can admit he's worthwhile. But you must keep it, like a secret, quiet and hidden, because if anyone finds out, he will die. She kisses him soft, and slow. He sighs in relief. They aren't tears of grief, that's too small: they're from the ocean sadness only swims in.
Terry Bellefleur unloads a gator head from Sam's truckbed, remarking that she's a beauty; Sam says they'll put it over the bar: "Drunks like talking to the animals." Woof! Speaking of animals, Terry pulls something horrible on a string around his neck out of his shirt: "Check it out. Possum prick!" Sam's like whoa. "Shot one last week. I was gonna stuff it, but I left it out back and it got to raining, then three days later, ain't nothing left but possum sludge and bones. I saved this, though. Possums have a two-pronged penis!" Sam's like, Oh uh-huh? "It's supposed to bring good luck." Sam claps him on the shoulder and tells him they should keep the two-pronged prick between them -- "The girls might get the wrong idea" -- and Terry puts it away. He needs all the luck he can get.
Terry remembers the other thing, and asks Sam why he was running through the woods naked this morning. "It looked an awful lot like you. Except you wear clothes..." He has these little sparking gaps in him, where he's having a conversation and then it goes somewhere else, like there's a connection between the sparking gap and his open mouth. It's disconcerting and sad. Terry squeezes his eyes shut and looks down. "Maybe I'm seein' things again. Except usually when I see people who ain't there, it's..." Sam knows: "It's the insurgents." Terry says, though, that this one didn't look that way, and Sam makes a choice. "But you said he was running, though, huh? Plenty of cover in the trees. How could you tell for sure? ...I believe you saw what you saw, I just don't know why anyone would run naked through the woods in broad daylight..." Terry laughs and says he's probably right, and then his face changes again. "Shit I hate being this way, Sam." And Sam is guilty then, but just slightly less than he is afraid, so he claps Terry on the shoulder and takes him inside: "We're a long way from Fallujah."