04 June 2019

Postcard 171

Cut up Poetry/Dialogue from article on Anchor-Outs of Sausalito

Larry often said: 'When it comes,
sayonara muchachos.'

I asked him where
the clementines all came from.
'Some lady brings them,' he said
'Her son lives offshore. It doesn't
mean that she will continue to do it,
just that that's what she's been doing.'

'They're there if you need 'em,' he
told me as I climbed aboard.
'But you won't.' He laughed
for some reason. 'You're born
with too many marbles. You can
afford to lose some. In fact,
you only need one marble:
the difference between
expectation and reality.'

'You want to be ninety-one?
Do a bunch of things they tell you
you shouldn't be doing. You'll get
to be a pallbearer for all your doctors.'

'I just started thinking: everything
I owned burned in a fire.' he said.
'Larry died,' he told me. 'There
was a fire in his trash can. He
leaned over to look at it. He had
his mask on. The oxygen ignited.
It went down his throat, across his body.'

'We got them out, but they were all dead.
Kids -- eighteen, nineteen, twenty. My
great lesson about war was you
either end up looking like this guy
or you end up looking down at this guy.'

'Sometimes you don't get them home
in the same pristine condition,'
he said matter-of-factly. 'That's not
what makes me smile,' he said.
'The happiness I get come from the toil.'

He opened his bag, pulled out
a clementine, and handed it to me.

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