I live in an old house with a great view with low rent. My running friend has warned me the wiringshould be brought to code. I mentioned it to my friend who owns this house but he said the wiring was just fine. Last night wiring slowly sendt fire threw out our house. Soon flames are everywhere. Teddy the cat is safe,my son is out, my lady friend is screaming for me to hurry and get out. I grab a picture of a little girl in Viet Nam playing with my pet gibbon. My scrapbooks; where are they? one picture of my grandmother and me. She was maybe 5 feet tall, I am 6 foot 3 inches tall. I need my old dictionary I have had for 30 years. My arms found all of the above and then I ran back and grabbed as many books as I could find. My war medals burned I felt nothing. Pictures of my ex-wife and I burned; I am sad about that. maybe the burned pictures were fitting. when things like a fire happens, what matters in your life comes racing out and slaps you in the face. My son,cat, and lady friend are safe. I have the items I care about and will ask about the wiring in my next house.
It”s 3:35p.m. I am looking outside and it makes the runner in me want to run. Above the emerald plain house across the street stand evergreen trees erect tall and proud. Those trees were here before World War Two. We humans come and go; if we just leave them alone, they speak through the afternoon mist of natures beauty and power to withstand storms, and man made folly.I wish the broken down ford in my neighbors driveway would be covered up, how can the trees be right behind his house? It seems weird. I see to my right my religious neighbor whose backside of her home is only visible. She goes to stores and gets outdated food and shares it with all of us. She is lovely, I have yet to be able to eat one piece of food she has given me in 5 years. Rain is falling heavier now, the mist is makes the plantslife flourish. When I run in a few minutes, I won”t wear my hood. The air this afternoon is as pure as it it can be. the rain, the mist will wash away my sins. I laugh as as people say “what a dreary afternoon”. The evergreen trees just winked at me, I heard the birds laughing, I am soaked, my soul has been cleansed. I just had to look out my window.
My mother never hugged. I knew she loved me but she was raised in a cold religious home where emotions were frivolous.My mother-law being opposite, became my mom. I could talk to her about anything. My wife kidded i was closer to her mom then she was. “Mom” had this thing she always wanted to say,”when your time is up;its up.” Why do you keep saying that, I would ask? “Because my time is now.” “Mom, your 57, you parents are alive, you have not gone to a doctor in months. I think your watching the wrong programs.” “Michael I have a doctors appointment tomorrow, I will find out then.” She had breast cancer, her humor was incredible.Just because you won”t see my body, don”t think you can treat my daughter badly mister! Tears would start, she would say,”what! I am the one who facing the big guy, I have some explaining to do, I can tell you that!” Laughing, I said Mom the medicine will work, you will be here kicking my butt for along time. “Michael did I ever tell you pigs fly? “As a 2 year combat medic, bronze star winner, back from Viet Nam, You think Your tough. The hardest thing I did and have ever had to do is walk into her bedroom and say goodby the night she was to die. She lay stiff as a board, starring straight up at the ceiling, focused on nothing, pupils very small, dolls eyes. mouth open. covers were thrown off. I covered her and said “Mom I am told your going on a journey soon. You will get to see all your relatives you have missed, you will see heaven and all its glory. You need to know That I will stay here and take care of your daughter,your grandsons, and I love you very much. I don”t want you to go, but if you must;I understand. I love you. Tears steaming down my my face I got up to leave and turned my back. I hear a voice, turn around, she is sitting up muttering something to me, I rush to her, she lays down, I kiss her cheek and leave. I tell the story to the doctor, he says,”son she is brain dead, you saw what you wanted to see.” No I thought, I saw what Mom wanted me to see.
Stick your finger on a hot stove for a second, it seems like an hour, start work at 8:00a.m 5:00p.m.is forever. Time is never changing,our perception of it does, Memory holds on to moments that happened 46 years ago, and discards things that happened last week. After you clean a window, look threw it. Its 46 years ago. Its the worst storm I have ever been in. I am in a village with a lady I am in love with in a room with roof leaking everywhere. war takes no break for the weather, You can hear the shooting. I have called for a chopper to come get us before the viet cong does. I am scared out of my mind but I bring her to my arms and smile and say “Who would be out in this weather?” were fine. She laughed. “we may die tonight.” Silently I said, “well if that”sthe case, I leave this world with your face as the last person I will ever see.” You must know how I feel about you?” The next hour is what passion must mean. Not a word was spoken. when found, our clothes were torn and soaked, when asked what happened, she put a finger to my lips, I said “nothing, nothing at all”. I got to see Miss Lan one more time before she moved forever into my memories as the only woman I ever loved.
I want to thank you all for coming tonight, mike wanted a party, not a funeral. He even wrote his own eulogy. talk about conceit! anyway I think we are drunk enough for the reading of the eulogy. Here goes: “Hey folks Having a good time? am watching you? Just kidding? boy my ex was right it is hot down here. No flames, just car salesmen, politicians, mega church leaders, wow.that”s a surprise. Oh! yeah, about me; I am sorry to my ex-wife. I should never have married so soon after VierNam. I Had seen so much blood.heard so much crying seen to much death. I was broken. I felt anger and Numb. I must admit I sucked at being a father, because I thought If I was nice and was a pal it would turn out great. Being A good father does not mean winning a popularity contest with your kids. Okay I wised up,stopped drinking. And lived for the moment.I guess you could sum up my life like A play:2 acts. I drank and did some things right in the first half. I was a writer.an activist. once walked from Seattle to Boston to cave children in the second half. I have talked enough, say about me that my life was a work in progress. Who knows how I might have turned out? Now go back to the party!
My diabetic son is 30. We get along okay, low blood sugars are something only other folks with that disease know about. Its dinner, he is making a sandwich, then silence: I run to his side of thetable.his smile is cold,eyes piercing.I call 911; while talking, screams come from the other room.
He has a kitchen knife poised to stab his mom and my wife. I walk up, start laughing, say”me first”do me. I grab the knife. take him to his bed room and start to give him a shot of glucose.His fists pound my head as I bob and twist trying to give him the shot.
I look up and see the biggest cop watching me along with 3 others. “hi fellows, I say, I am getting pounded here, you might want to wait a second.” The cop says,”No I am the poundee!? step aside, They fixed Brian. He was back to normal. He does this all the time. As long as you don”t kill someone. You can get away with anything with a low blood sugar/
I read every blog that”s posted. I have yet to read a bad one, I see books unborn, stories that need telling, books that need writing. I try to think of any memory I want to share before I was 17: I can”t.It”s a blur to me, I see ghost like images of a drunken father,a crying mother. I still wonder what it would be like to have a friend over to play, My bedroom was in the basement. My room had no heat, That was fine, I used his storage room to urinate in.That was funny when he found out; “a weak bladder” I said. Days later I had my own bathroom.I made my own lunches quickly, if he came around;ashes from his cigarette would wind up in my food. Breakfast for him was vodka and water,. Fast forward to me standing in his living room; he has driven my mother because of verbal abuse to the State Mental Hospital. In those days, it was called a nervous breakdown. I thought hatred of him would flow from me. pity did instead, He looked broken,alone, ashamed, He looked up at me and said “well go ahead,Mr. Viet Nam veteran and college boy, let me have it!” Softly I said, ” I am here to offer my help nothing more. You need to own the past, then move on, change, tell Mom the chemicals,vodka made you act the way you did. Your,when sober, a great guy, It”s time you be him. His brown leather sofa was wet with his tears as he stood up shook my hand, hugged me and said “your a man now” “You left a boy, but you came back thinking before you speak.” My folks were together 25 years after that day. My stepfather stopped drinking. I still feel it”s best to listen than to talk.