I went to see a friend of mine that is locked up in an institution or as I like to say "locked up inside himself". He has been the same for years now and I go see him about once a month. It was three years ago since he spoke in complete sentences and it just fukin pisses me off to see what Viet Nam has done to this man. I knew him when I was a kid and he had just turned 18, the year was 1968 and I was only ten years old. He was one of those guys we all know, who will do anything for the thrill of it. I can still remember when he came down our street with his Harley and he took this little chubby kid named Bo for a ride and I felt like I could fly. He was like that, friendly to a fault and always had time for me even though I had brothers and friends. I remember him telling me "Bo, you can do anything you want just dont be afraid to fall". I have always tried to live that way and to instill this in my own kids whether they liked it or not. I have always told my daughters there is no shame in falling as long as you get back up.
Tommy has a large family and several brothers and sisters and although his mom and dad are now gone his siblings never come by to visit, I suppose we get busy or maybe we want to forget that damn war or better yet, just forget the pain that can remind us of how fragile we all are. I hold no judgements with his family, I am sure they have their reasons and who am I to judge? I sometimes wish Tommy would just pass away in a peaceful sleep but I smile under my fake facade because I know he won"t go easily. I guess in his own way he is making his last stand the only way he can, reliving his life while being locked up inside himself. I dropped off his chocolate covered cherries that he was so fond of and leaned over and kissed the side of his head and whispered "thank you for letting me fly that one day when I was 10" as I was leaving I could have sworn I saw him smile and that is what I want to remember. Tommy was moved last week and he got out of the nut ward and moved into a Hospice due to Pancreatic cancer but I bet he last longer than they think because a spirit like that will not go so easy. I was thinking in a totally selfish manner the other day about what Betty Davis said "getting old ain't for sissy's" because the thing I hate most about getting older is the friends that seem to die along the way. Damn that does sound selfish when I look at written down. Oh well I will claim my weakness at least that is mine.
Thanks for reading Bohank