Rambo and the happiest girl on earthpublished: 2012-07-26
Expendable. I had never heard of that word until Rambo used it. “I am expendable,” he said. I looked at his droopy eyes and felt he and I were connected. When I looked up what expendable meant, I was certain of it. He had been talking to me.
So I sent him a letter. I addressed it to ‘Rambo, c/o Hollywood Studios, Los Angeles, California, USA. And I added ‘please deliver. It’s a matter of life and death.’
In the letter I wrote that I knew exactly how he felt. Better than he could ever imagine. I too was expendable. Yes, exactly that.
I lived in Africa at the time, Ghana. My dad had laughed about the Rambo poster I had stuck to my wall. I didn’t get that. But it didn’t matter, at least Rambo and I understood each other. Still, my dad had helped me. He had provided a Dutch embassy envelop, and off the letter went, in a diplomatic pouch. All the way to the USA.
I forgot all about the letter, and even stopped thinking about Rambo. Then one hot and dusty day, a letter returned from the USA. In it, there was an autographed photo of Rambo. That was it? I felt disappointed and even embarrassed to show anyone. I stuck the Rambo photo in a drawer.
Almost 30 years later, Rambo enters my living room. He is still droopy-eyed and expendable and saving the world. And here I sit, with my beer, marveling at the thought that once upon a time, a 13-year-old girl copuld send a letter from Africa, without a specific address. That the letter would actually arrive. And that someone – perhaps endeared – decided to make that girl’s day.
I should have been the happiest girl on earth.