Thursday, December 4, 2008

Saying Uncle

A passage from "Saying Uncle" by Greg F. Gifune: "Always alone and always drunk, my mother had once told me he was a veteran of World War II who had lost his mind during combat and that despite his problems he was to be respected."

The description of the character, Wiley, reminded me of some older homeless men. It also caused me to realize, I think of World War II vets as having it all together. Patriotic flag wavers who look down upon Vietnam veterans who lose their minds or self-meditate to "quiet the bees buzzing in their heads" to paraphrase an Iraqi war vet.

During a conversation, a man says: "Those who can do. Those who can't teach. Those who can't teach, teach gym."

Old memory from 1998 when I lived on Broadway came back. The handyman had used the first two sentences from that phrase. A bit of snobbery about the building manager. Another memory keeps popping to mind about a homeless guy, I last saw in Phoenix. I was heading back to Allentown and no longer recall his destination plans. For some reason, that guy's face is who I see as the handyman, as if they were one and the same.

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