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The Journal of Literary Satire | Hastily Written & Slopilly Edited
Friday, August 3, 2007

The Bourne Letters: Scranton, Pennsylvania, to Fort Lauderdale, Florida

scrantonpostcard.jpgSaturday, September 16, 2006
10:45 a.m.
Scranton, Pennsylvania

Woke up in a pool of blood in the back room of a diner in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Three hostiles dead in the walk-in cooler. Middle Eastern. The blood was not mine. Perhaps an answer to the questions that plague me—who am I? Who trained me? Why am I constantly on the run? Or only a false lead, more maddening questions.

Hostiles were sleepers, in deep cover as diner employees. I cleaned myself up and stumbled into a crowded room, thick with anger. Before I realized what was happening, I was frying eggs, cutting potatoes, warming coffee cups. If you place a pot’s lid over a cracked egg, Greta, and put some cheese on top, then slip in an ice cube, it will melt faster. Gotta keep the tables turning over, keep the barstools hot.

Twelve fifty in tips does not seem like a sufficient amount, especially for breakfast Sunday, four four-tops and a full bar.

The training I received, which I do not remember, has prepared me for many situations. Too many. And so I set off now on a Greyhound bound for Fort Lauderdale. What awaits in Fort Lauderdale? How, like a monarch migrating toward Cerro Chincua, do I know that this is my destination?

Instinct. It is all I have now.

I miss you, Greta.

Jason Bourne

* * *

pennpostcard.jpgSaturday, September 16, 2006
1:30 p.m.
Carlisle, Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is a nondescript series of convenience stores, sleepwalking civilians, and gently rolling mountains. Should have picked up a magazine or a book or something at the bus depot. These guns take up all the room in my bag and aside from the medical kit and the electronic devices, the thing for jimmying doors, and the quarter stick of dynamite, plus the travel razor and that gel stuff that makes my cowlick turn down, there’s hardly room for anything else.

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, is not a bad town. Small, but nice. There is a river, the smell of funnel cakes in the air. I thought about you.

Jason Bourne

* * *

vapostcard.jpgSaturday, September 16, 2006
4:30 p.m.
Richmond, Virginia

Something is not right with this bus driver. He slows in all the wrong places, accelerates through hills. He tries to hide the British accent, but there is a litheness about his movements, a fluidity and economy of motion that reeks of S.I.S.

As always, I remain vigilant. Of what, I don’t know.

Jason Bourne

* * *

ncarolinapostcard.jpgSunday, September 17, 2006
8:45 a.m.
Fayetteville, North Carolina

There is a food called “scrapple” that whoever trained me did not know about. Forgery, sharpshooting, international trade, banking, hand-to-hand combat, arbitrage, eight different orders of martial arts—in all this I have been trained.

For scrapple, however, I was woefully ill-prepared.

Breakfast this morning was a terrifying exchange between me and a plate of this meat and a suspicious traveler named “Jerry.”

“You’ll love it,” said Jerry. This meat is gray-brown and perfectly rectangular. I pushed it around on my plate and it left a gelatinous trail. “Everybody loves it,” Jerry said.

I did not love it.

“I don’t know what’s wrong with you, Buddy,” Jerry said. “Everybody else loves it.”

I fear Jerry is suspicious. Will take first opportunity to take care of this situation.

Jason Bourne

* * *

scpostcard.jpgSunday, September 17, 2006
12:11 p.m.
Dillon, South Carolina

Have you seen South of the Border, Greta? If you have then this card is all you need to know. Greetings from South of the Border.

Wish you were here.

Jason Bourne

* * *

jacksonvillepostcard.jpgMonday, September 18, 2006
Jacksonville, Florida
1:20 a.m.

Opportunity revealed itself on a long, straight highway tonight. While the passengers slept, I took care of the driver, disposed of the body, and took the wheel. During an unscheduled stop I replaced the front torsion bars, changed the oil, and checked the alternator.

The passengers seem to accept my explanation for the driver’s absence. Sometimes I don’t understand civilians at all.

Except you, my love.

Jason Bourne

* * *

floridapostcard.jpgMonday, September 18, 2006
Fort Pierce, Florida
5:35 a.m.

While driving, I never tire. As soon as I get behind the wheel of a car, truck, bus, or airplane, I am instantly awake, alert, ready for anything that crosses my path. This morning Jerry took advantage of this situation, and the sleeping passengers, to carry out an interrogation that I fear may have been most effective. He pretended to be advocating for a form of lotion called “Nuskin.” These products allow you to look younger, longer, apparently.

When I asked about a sample, Jerry was evasive. He insisted that I sell Nuskin on my own. “It sells itself,” he said.

I waited, stared him in the eye. Jerry does not have good skin, Greta.

“Hey,” he said, “it ain’t no pyramid scheme.” I stared. He just winked. I am beginning to suspect that he may be Israeli. Special forces. There was an insistence, an absurdity to his method that rings familiar.

How do they find me? Will this never end? I know, one day at a time, my love.

Jason Bourne

* * *

ftlpostcard.jpgMonday, September 18, 2006
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
7:35 a.m.

Jerry has been taken care of, left in a bathroom stall in a Denny’s outside Fort Lauderdale, Florida. “Not. A. Pyramid. Scheme,” he said, my length of rope tightening across his neck. “Sells … itself.

I have to admit, Greta, that I felt, for one of the few times in my new life, some apprehension, a feeling—not unlike this impulse toward motion—deep in my gut. Could this be doubt? I was overtaken by a déjà vu that I have not known since I awakened these years ago, naked and afloat in the Mediterranean. A fleeting glimpse, Greta, of the Jason Bourne who once ran carefree across the green fields of youth?

Nevertheless, Jerry has been taken care of.

Missing you more than you know.

Jason Bourne.

* * *

flapostcard2.jpgMonday, September 18, 2006
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
9:30 a.m.

Arrived at the Greyhound station in Fort Lauderdale three minutes ahead of the designated time. Passengers exited the bus with a minimum of fuss. My safe deposit box contained a Cuban passport under the name Hernandez and several hundred thousand dollars cash.

When I was exiting the bank, I stopped to buy a frozen banana from a street vendor.

Mistake. Never stop moving, Greta. Never let your guard down. Not even for a cold treat.

I suspect the vendor was C.I.A., anti-terror. They follow me now, four of them, dressed in the costume of

Am I to be constantly on the run? Will this never end? My gun is loaded and I head to the waterfront tonight.

It is hot here, but not too hot. They have those drinks you favor, with the mint and the rum. I think you would like it.

Jason Bourne

Dave Housley does not have time NOT HAVE TIME NO TIME! When he does have time, he writes fiction and stuff for places like Ballyhoo Stories, Columbia, Nerve,Sycamore Review, and others. He's one of the founders and editors of Barrelhouse magazine. His collection of fiction, Ryan Seacrest is Famous, will be published in October by Impetus Press.