My Uncle!

My uncle Jean Pierre was an eccentric man. Hair cut short because his thinning scalp could no longer support long locks. He had  sideburns  and a neatly kept beard, all graying. Built like a brick shit house at only five foot eight and a powerful beer belly he was an imposing figure if he was angry, but a real charmer when in a good mood and happy to see you. His eyes were steel blue and he always walked as though he was on a mission. There was a battle to fight somewhere, an injustice that required his input and at the same time a joint that needed smoking, a good glass of wine that needed sharing. Generous to a fault with all those that adored him. Deadly to all that defied him.

At about the age of eight I asked him, "why is your belly so large and round"? He laughed and said in his Quebecois accent , " bai Jean, I was six foot five and I carried the large rock on me shoulders, one day, one was so heavy it pushed me down and my stomach popped out".

Jean Pierre would visit us in Toronto from his home in St. Augustine Quebec, some five hundred miles away every couple of years. My mother being the eldest of sixteen children was always joyful to receive Jean Pierre, the youngest of the family.  The last time I saw Jean Pierre in Toronto, he was adorned with gold jewelery. A King Tut necklace made of twenty two carat gold the size of my palm and a gold rings on every finger. Seriously, this guy was the king of bling, before bling was conceived.

After my parents, myself and my adopted brother moved to Ottawa, Jean Pierre visited us. He was a little grayer, a little shorter but still on a mission. He asked me to direct him to Parliament hill. On the way he told me some stories. I was maybe nineteen at the time, not really ready for what he had to tell me, but I had enough shit in my life, so it didn't scar me for life.

Drawing a deep drag from a cigarette, he asked me, "Jean, what do you think about the homosexual"? I might have said, " as long as they keep to themselves, It doesn't bother me."

At that point some car cuts him off just to get to the red light before him. Jean Pierre  slams his car into park, gets out and like a grizzly bear stands in front of the offending car, pounding on the hood and demands, " come on, just run me over you piece of shit". Eventually, Jean Pierre gets back into his car as though nothing happened and cut off dude is in shock incapable of driving. Bizarre.

At that time driving right up  to the Parliament buildings was possible.  Jean Pierre stops right in front of center block, puts the car in park and gives me a bag of weed and some rolling papers. "Jean? You know how to roll the joint"?  Ah yeah, right here? I asked. Sure, why not? Is this a free country or not? He jested.

While smoking the joint an RCMP officer knocked on the window. Jean Pierre, exhaling rolled down the window, had some discussion with the officer, handed his drivers license to him, we continued to smoke that joint. The officer left us, Jean Pierre rolled up the window. He saw I was stymied, and said, " they know our name".

Uploaded 03/11/2011
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