…a watershed…

Friday, sometime early March 2005

Last nite was a watershed of story, as he poured the scotch
and poured his heart.
It started after he came home, after going out to get smoke, and
coming back two and a half hours later.  He goes to the favellas
to score, and although I worry about that, he tells me not to worry,
they know him, and he can take care of himself.  That I believe.

He’d run into friends, drank, coked, come home and looked into
her eyes, searching for anger.
She could not hide anything from him.  He always saw,  so this
time she truly said no, not anger, just adjusting to frequency.
It’s every 2 or 3 days…

“No… not every 2 or 3 days… no……. oh…………….yes….
I guess you’re so damned smart.
Just don’t be like the other ones, please.  Just understand me.
I will never lie to you, I will always be true to you, always,
I swear.  Can you handle me babe?”

She looked long into his eyes.  “I Think so…”

This night she desperately wished for a recorder. The things he told
her, the way they rolled from his tongue…how could she ever capture
a tenth of them…?

She told him her main concern with his drinking…
“Your drinking is your business…how it affects me is my business.
I’m concerned with your health, that’s what worries me.”

“When I die, they oughta cut out a few organs…burn the rest please…
but take some of me and study, because I am not a normal person.

“I have drunk and snorted and shot, and been shot, and I live.
I’m not normal.
I’m not going to live long, babe, and I’m not going to change.
I can stop, I have stopped if there is a reason.

“But I don’t wanna spend my life sober.  I’ve seen too much.
No, you’ll see me dead.
Just don’t bury me.  Burn me, throw me in the ocean.
A Viking burial would be nice.  But otherwise just burn me, please. ”
Water filled her eyes…..

“I’m not afraid to die.  I never have been .  You know what scares
me…the only thing?.  I’ve never told anyone this.
What scares me is dying without being called a man.
To be worthy of being called a man, that is the one thing.
Not to die one of the masses….. oh….”

“In the Legion, they had a name they called me…..”
(I know it, but I’m not sharing it right now, as I’m not
sure he’d be OK with that).
“Oh, I’m good…I never miss.  Never.  One shot to the head.
I took out a squad of 40.  I wait…I watch…watch for days,
I know their routine, I know how many and where.  Pow Pow…
I could take out 5 in about 14 seconds.  I was the Best.

“Once they found me, they chased me for 4 days in the desert…
140 degrees day, -35 at night.  I covered myself for some shade.
I drank my own piss.
“They called out my special name, “It’s ___we gotta get him!”,
and they chased me … a bunch of them…
It was 35 miles to the sea, Once I got there, there was a beeper
and I could be found.  But I had lost mine, and no one
knew where I was….”
Obviously he escaped and was found, but I never heard how.

As a child, he was always in trouble, always being punished,
and the parents seemed to enjoy it, and from his stories,
they were quite creative.

They laughed at him, and called him Tatubola… little Armadillo…
The parents had a new horse whip and were trying it out on him.
There were other family there, and they all laughed as his mother
whipped him, and he rolled into a ball, rolled all over the ground
and down the hill.
The others said the parents must know what they are doing,
they’re the parents.  Little Armadillo, rolled up in a ball.

“My father decided the belt wasn’t good enough.  So he turned the
buckle on me.  A man 6’2”, 190#…do you think he needed to use a
buckle on a child?  What a coward.  But I never cried.  Never.
I thought of what Tom would do (Sawyer), he wouldn’t cry.
No, it was not me who should cry.  It was them, they were the
ones who were not human, they should cry.

“Once, when my mother left him, in order to get her back, he tried
to impress her by taking me on the back of his bicycle, for a ride to
show what a good father, a good man he was.
He put me behind him, and we rode.

“My ankles rubbed against the wheels, rubbed them raw and bleeding.
And when he saw, he told me how stupid I was, and he beat me.
I’d ruined his beautiful fantasy picture.”

Turns out he was ADHD.  I know it.  Total Right brain.
Got in trouble in school every day.  He read voraciously, and
everything at school seemed stupid, he already knew it.
Typical of ADD brains, unusually bright and intelligent,
easily distracted, able to focus intensely, and on their own.

He read all the classics early on, filled his head with the heroes
of so many times and places.  All of them, the great books, he read.
History, Geography, but not math, not numbers.

“If you got a woman laughing, you’re gonna get some pussy… ”
he continued.
(She remembered the big swedish nurse who assisted in her last home
birth, the most perfect birth.  Smile Carol, big smile, she’d say.
An open smile means an open pussy…. see?  it was true!)

“You always made me laugh, you’re good at that,”  she purred…
“So you must have gotten a lot of pussy…”
“Oh Good Lord, you have no idea!”
He shook his head and grinned.

“You’re clean.  Your eyes are clean.
I want to rebuild myself from what’s inside you.
I planted something in you, back then.
I planted it, and it grew inside you, and 17 years later,
you come and find me.
Because you never forgot me, and I never forgot you.

“When I saw you, I saw your goodness.  I saw you’re clean.
I was not a nice person at that time.  But with you, I gave my best.
It was out of time, and I saw another way.  I drove 400 miles..
….do you know how many times?  Just to see you.
It was apart from my life.”

She had no idea of this.  All she knew was he was diving at the pier.
So it turns out he was driving from Tahoe each time?

He and his Tahoe girlfriend fought about her.  She had called that
day, when he’d been gone for so long, took that chance, and the
woman answered.
Later, the woman asked him, and he told her…
yes, I’ve met someone, and this is why I drive.

He told her his friend Mark was a good man, a good friend,
and he lost him as a friend forever, because he hit that woman in
this fight…”knocked her lights out”…and he knew he was wrong,
that was the only time he did that.
She asked him why he was untrue to her.
“She was not a good fuck.  She had become like a sister.
I left soon after I saw you”

“You know, they are offering me a job…. I can’t believe it…
$80,000 and I said no.  I couldn’t do it… I felt like a whore.
The Legion keeps asking me to come back, come back, we could
live in France, you would be my wife, we would live well.
I would be maybe a Sargent Chief.
And I would teach people how to kill.
But no, I can’t do it.  I said no, I want something else.”

“You wanna know the two saddest things?
A soldier without a war, and
and a Man without a job…
I know….. I’m both.”

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