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vietnam - cause and effect

Posted on Dec 26, 2008  |   2399 views  

"vietnam, cause and effect"- 1988 the deviate ideal of machismo come home to roost; [ another father has failed.]... height -69 inches -diameter -36 inches... "vietnam; 1967" note: this is the text placed on the base of the piece... from 1956 to 1967, stanley and i had been first and best friends... little boys growing up together, inseparable... childhood friendships have few responsibilities, and its ingredients are no match for the modern day criteria, and i’m fairly sure that you’ve had faded friendships to look back at as you aged into adulthood... and yes, i know that life goes on and that people change, et cetera... but this was the seminal friendship, and those will always carry or release extra weight... his father divorced and left him the 1 boy with 3 sisters and an unfit mother, causing his compassion and love channel to be tuned accordingly... and even tho he had 3 sisters and other friends beside me, he was not loved and fathered; in essence, having to grow up unguided; [ read misguided.]... as such, he developed his dark proclivity for cold aggression, not so much physical, but more emotionally, in the sense that made his friendships unequal ones with dissolution its natural course... by '65, we had drifted apart, and tho he still lived down the street from me, i was consumed with hustling pool by that time; and i guess he was just consumed; enough to volunteer to go to nam; to “be a man”... even with different interests and friends, we still shared the unspoken bond first friendships afford... in that year, along with his “family”, he moved to the midwest; chicago i believe, or at least somewhere in the state of illinois... the day he left, we promised to visit each other, and while i cannot remember for him, there were tears that welled behind my eyes... so, after not seeing him for a little more than 2 years, i was surprised and happy to see him at my door one summer afternoon in 1967... after short pleasantries, we exchanged mutual recent histories... i told him of endless hours with a pool cue and big cash in my hands, and he told me of endless hours with an M16 in his... i listened with a silent unobservable horror and confusion as he related, with enthusiasm bordering on mouth foam, 1 particular incident he must have thought would impress me; and he boasted it was not an uncommon occurrence; to wit: he recounted that he was ridin’ in the back of an open troop truck thru a village, and as often happened, a group of young children would run behind them, laughin’ and trying to keep up with the truck as it passed thru... some were shot; some by my closest friend, stanley... he explained that some of those “fuckin’ gooks”; [ children from about 8 to 12 years old,] would occasionally throw grenades into the trucks, so it was routine that they were shot at will... all this was retold with a demeanor bordering on gleefull reminiscence, and it curdled the blood that ran thru my soul/brain... i said nothing during his accounting, as my confusion as to who this monster was left me tongue tied and anxious to have it end... he left shortly after the stories were complete, maybe unconsciously sensing the effect it caused... the visit home only comprised that one interlude with me, and i haven’t seen him since... he was on a 1 week leave and eager to return to vietnam, “to kill more gooks”... he never asked me how i felt about what i’d heard; again, maybe unconsciously knowing the reply... after he had left, my mind slowly un-numbed enough to think of the sick romance of war; of that connoted with the lafayette escadrille; of the flowers dropped from the planes in honor of the dead aces... and then i cried...

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