Tuesday, 15 May 2007

How wise the fool

There is a guy who lives not so far away from me.
He is said to be 'two vouchers short of a toaster' after having had a very bad head injury a few years back.
He goes by the name of Wingy - he used to have hallucinations where he saw Angels with Silver wings - and the locals tease him.
But, my father did a lot to help him and he liked and respected my father.

My mother was watching a programme about widowhood on TV.
She was widowed 4 years ago and still misses my father a lot, every day - he was such a larger than life character I can understand.

She told me a story.

One day, she bumped into Wingy in the street and this guy, who had lost nearly everything after his injury, gave his commiserations.

He added 'You are really lucky. You know, you were married for 52 years. Some people don't even live to reach 52 years'.

How wise the fool.

10 comments:

trousers said...

Indeed. Your dad sounds like he was a top bloke.

Jose said...

It's grand to look at the happy face of life.

ranger said...

Yo Merkin,
Sounds like a great guy, both your dad and Mr.Wingy.

I make a habit of attempting to spark up conversation with Halifax's 'fools' as it were.

I was walking back home late the other evening from a concert and passed right by the local self proclaimed schizophrenic who often plays the recorder for change in front of my grocery. I always say "hi" to him, ask him "how's it going" while I unload my pockets of their collection of coins. I've done this a dozen times before without anything more than a sideways smile in return from this old salty character.

Now the other night was different. There was no one around, it was late... around midnight or so....and he was walking at a quick step back to his boarding room, or where ever else it may be that he resides at night, when he decided to stop and talk a while.

This lovely guy is probably 60 years of age going on 110. Toothless, wears a long gray beard down to his belly, he's got a skeleton like body exaggerated by tight and faded black jeans that he tucks tight down under wooly socks into his ratty old black high-top Converse All-Stars (Chuck's, as I call them). And he usually wears a dirty grey hoody and a burgundy toque that he pulls down low to hide a seriously sincere set of ice-blue eyes.

We got to talking this night and he asked me what I do for a living. I told him I was in the orchestra here in town. He grinned and immediately pulled out his recorder from inside his backpack and began to serenade me right there on that dimly lighted street corner. When he was done playing the phrase he mumbled a verse or two of the old hymn he had chosen and then asked me where I was from. I told him Virginia and he went into a well thought out few minute discourse on anti-American sentiment in Canada and how it's changed over the years and then he went on pontificating on Canada's military role in Afghanistan. Wearing a forlorn expression, the conclusion to that statement was directed at me in the form of a question .....

"I don't hate any of those people living over there, so why is my country killing those people?"

Wise fools in dead, there in the old country, and here in the new.
Just shows to go you, as an old girl friend of mine used to say, you never know who those cooky old fools really are until you get to talking to them.

Merkin said...

Thanks to all for the kind thoughts.
My father, indeed, was 'one of a kind' and it is just such a pity he was on the cusp of internet usage.
He would have given these bastards Hell - which he always did in written comment to the newspaper and other authorities.
(HIS father was, believe it or not, Violin maker, Circus strongman, Watchmaker, Cossack and Russian sailor - wounded in the Russo-Jap war. What a fucking life story!!)

Jose, very happy face of life is in rainy Glasgow tonight where Sevilla won !!

The Ranger story is what life is all about, and why we are trying to work towards something better despite the politicians.
Sometimes, I think 'there but for the grace...etc' when I meet some (not all) of these guys.
One evening, I was in Wroclaw in the Town Square.
A homeless busker was playing guitar and singing.
I was with a chick I really fancied and I spoke with the busker.
I asked if I could hire his guitar for one song 'for my lady'. Cool.
Played 'Angel', by Hendrix, for her.
Pulled in a pile of cash for the busker (who later became a good friend) - not because I was good, just because I was a novelty.
My thought was 'this is fun'.
I have busked plenty for fun.
It is really shite when you HAVE to do it to survive.
You never know what has been the result of 'lifetime decisions' and what has been the result of a 'bad hand dealt'.
Perhaps, not so important really in some respects depending on how much free choice we really have. Dunno.

What, I think, we are working towards is some sort of situation where government doesn't decide in advance what the final result will be - for 'them'.

Step by step.

anticant said...

Lovely stories. But I wouldn't want to kill people even if I did hate them. I would only kill them - reluctantly - if they were hell-bent on killing me.

Jose said...

I'd say both teams won, Merkin, Sevilla was luckier having a great goalkeeper as it is.

Merkin said...

True enough, Jose.
I was actually in Glasgow and the city was awash in blue and red with a fair sprinkling of tartan too.
I came back 'across the water' to where I stay and watched the game with a beer.
Looks like even the the losing team 'enjoyed' themselves.
I was at the very first European Final at Hamden (I was too young to remember anything). 1960. The greatest Club Final of all time perhaps.
Real Madrid v Eintracht Frankurt.

ranger said...

Twew twew Antipants. I was not lost to that interpretation either. I just thought this guy had hit it on the head.
'Keep off my back and I'll keep off yours"

Blair in my hometown this morning sucking the big one! Talk about body language! His is screaming "somebody kill me, I can't keep this up much longer!"

boldscot said...

Well Ranger, it was almost comical when we saw the farewell on TV here.
I know some of the emoticons and signs which can be inserted into text.
The one I wanted for Bush's speech was that which mimics 'a pair of fingers going down a throat'.
Any suggestions?.

ranger said...

How 'bout one of those little yellow smilies with a gun upon its little yellow temple?