And so l'll go around
You must risk something that matters
My hands are strong
I'll take any man here
If it's worth the going
It's worth the ride."
-tom waits (a little rain)
another old old story, another old old friend...Mickey McGrath. Mickey was my second lesson. Here is a portion of a story l wrote then;
"I've been stood up, l had a date and she stands me up ...bitchwoman!" These are the thoughts rolling through my head as l wander aimlessly down 4th street. My vengeance is distracted as l notice a litle old man shuffling down the street towards me.
"Hi, how's it going?" l ask. "Could you help me to the chink store?" "My eyesight...gone bad." I proceeded to escort Michael McGrath, his fragile arm linked in mine, to the corner store and back. This was my first of many encounters with Mickey.
Mickey resided in the Colonel Belcher Veteran's Hospital, floor 3x. He invited me up to his room. There were four beds in the room, with each bed seperated by a wall of fabric. Mickey had, he explained, the choice area, in the corner with window light and only a short walk to the bathroom. We smoked, we talked and l took photographs.
He's always in his pajama's now, hair never combed and the calendar, always needs to be changed. Maybe he expects it now. I remember my first encounter with Mickey. I changed his calendar then. A calendar, on a wall at the post of his bed. A wall filled with papers, pictures, cards and calendars, all out dated and aged like that in a laundromat. Pictures of the pope, pictures of jesus, catholic paraphernalia. You wouldn't think Mickey a religious man but it's been in his life, like an overcoat. The army, beer, whores, yappy mothers in law, and religion are the materials of Mickey's overcoat.