OH, BURY ME NOT

I was walking on a broken ankle and it was Mardi Gras morning and I was drunk which helped the ankle despite drunkenness being the cause of the injury and I had lost my friends during Zulu at Lee Circle and now I was wandering the uptown streets of New Orleans no money north of Tchoupitoulas trying to avoid the crowds when I found my way to the Napoleon bar. Not that that was what it was called—it was on the corner of Magazine I think—we used go there a lot celebrated part of my 21st birthday there when you were just being born hell it might not even be there anymore or it may have a different name seems like a long time ago now looking at you why when your mom came to visit me you were just a baby and now you’re a young man and I want to say what I know you don`t know because it takes time to know it but I was your age once and now I just tell stories about it how I remember it and of course you want to add a little flair a little romance to your memories because pretty soon that’s all you have it’s the only instruction you can give and you go back and visit these memories sometimes years later after all the things that have happened and some memories you wanna teach a thing or two and other memories they teach you but all of them together they make you who you are and sometimes it just takes time to make your peace with that to let them ripen so that you taste them at their peak like those surreal memories I have of wandering the streets of New Orleans on Mardi Gras morning and one thing you should know is walking ain`t easy there let alone walking on a broken ankle because you see the sidewalks are crooked…

the mosquitoes aren`t out yet.  It was August then and they were sitting out on the back deck and he’s sitting almost the same way his grandfather did slouched leaned back in the patio chair his hands folded behind his head listening

ya it actually delayed my commissioning.  One thing you can’t do on a broken ankle is pass a physical fitness test so no your uncle didn`t graduate with his class.  I did my pinning on ceremony later here not in New Orleans—your grandfather pinned my gold bars…  the only thing I can say is when you go there as soon as you get on the bus—don’t look nobody in the eye.  Never eyeball the drill instructor.  Just pick a point out in space and stare at that…

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