Posted Nov 14, 2010 in Cool Shit | 0 Comments

The Guy Over There (part 2)

“I just got back from the Pole, got a nice Indian woman up there.”

“The North Pole?”

“Yeah, around the 59th parallel. You know, she drinks a couple of beers, smokes some grass, and she’s good to go.”

Meanwhile, the Algerian girl with luxuriant curls comes out of the center and waves us goodbye. We must have already said goodbye three times on our way from the gym-slash-auditorium to here. We turn our attention to grandpa again.

“You got weed up there?” Dan asks.

“Oh yeah! The army brings it. They get you everything you need, just like in ‘Nam. Heh, we used to shoot up all the time. I was an air force pilot, you know”

“You served in the Canadian Air Force?” Dan inquires.

Grandpa scoffs. “Hell no! The United States Air Force. I’m from California myself. They had me discharged ‘cause I didn’t want to bomb any villages.”

My respect-o-meter has just gone up by 10 degrees, and I’d like him to know, but I have no idea how to tell him. So I blurt out something stupid instead.

“Your conscience is more important than a job.”

“Well, it’s not like they didn’t find someone else to take my place. And Vietnam was like that. Even women and children are dangerous, ‘cause they can hide grenades on themselves and then come blow you up. I saw twenty-five guys get blown to pieces like that.”

We talk some more about his friends who survived the war, only to OD later and die. I guess that’s why he left California. There was no one left, and it’s hard to be the last one left. So, you just leave. We talk about fishing, about trapping, about the piece of birch bark he keeps for good luck. Everyone should have one, he says. This guy is a living and breathing MacGyver. I’ve always dreamed of meeting a guy from that generation, and, now that I finally met one, I don’t want to let go of him. I finally say something right.

“So you lived through the ‘60s and ‘70s. Man, if I had a time machine…”

“Yeah, those were good times. You know, we never thought this whole peace and love thing was gonna last. Even the peace sign, we thought that was gonna disappear, but people still use it today”

Grandpa bids us farewell. He’s gonna go in and watch some other presentation on cop violence.

“Nice to meet you guys. I’m Mike.”

“I’m Alex, and this is Dan.”

“Dan and Douglas. Got it!”

He winks at us then heads for the gym-slash-auditorium. Dan turns to face me.

“If all that stuff is true, the guy is a walking documentary.”

“Why, you think he’s bullshitting?”

“I don’t know. You think it’s true?”

“Yeah, I think it’s true. And even if it ain’t, it’s true to me.”

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