interview, special interest
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My day with a homeless man and how it changed my life. (part 2)

“Come on let’s go see what they’re catching maybe I can cast.” We got to the edge of the pier and sitting on the edge were two girls. “You think I can convince them I lost my talking dog?” I looked at Harry then looked back, I really had no idea how he would enter into a conversation with these girls. I waited only a few moments before the two girls got up and walked off. Harry turned his attention to another older fisherman and his girlfriend. He peered into a bucket of murky brown water. You could see the mackerel bouncing around gasping for air. I couldn’t help but feel bad for them, mainly because that brown water was brown from blood. Harry reached into the bucket and pulled out a mackerel. “Look at this, these make great bait.” The fisherman turned around with another fish on his line and put it into Harry’s hand.

“Get the hook off and put it into the bucket for me.” Harry did so as if he and this gentleman had known each other forever. As he dropped the small fish into the bucket with the others; he looked to the fisherman’s girlfriend. She was a blond woman slightly over weight.

“Hey, have you seen my dog?” The woman looked at him concerned. “Yeah, he’s a talking russell terrier.” She wasn’t nearly as gullible as the last fellow.

“Oh, he can talk can he?”

“Yeah, he’s smarter than me. Have you seen him?” She shook her head no, but with a smile on her face.

“No, I haven’t sorry.”

“Well if you do, let him know I’m looking for him.” Harry wheeled around and we started heading back down the pier. “Who’s going to be the next president?” I walked backwards to talk to him now.

“That’s hard to say who the new incumbent will be.”

“You know who don’t you? It’s gonna be Hillary Clinton.”

“Really? You think so?” Harry nodded in the affirmative. “I can see that I guess, I mean many people will probably vote for her because of Bill. They will think that he will have some effect on how she runs office.”

“Yeah, she needs to be President. This country is going down the shit hole.”

“What do you mean going? It’s already there.” Harry sighed.

“True, enough. You need to be Senator.” I must’ve given him a bizarre look because it completely caught me off guard.

“Senator?”

“Yeah, you need to be Senator or a writer. Someone needs to be in there that will look after us. Sure as shit it ain’t, excuse me…” At this point we had made our way to the edge of the dock again and I sat down. “I don’t want to seem like some imprudent, God bless his soul, Bush has just fucked things up. I mean he was elected and he is my president.” He then gave a chuckle and smirked “and re-elected. But fuck my boys are dying out there and for what what kind of cause?!” This was a true genuine patriotism I had not seen in a long time. Harry was a man who loves his country despite the ruling regime all the while respecting its current despot. “I’ve killed people before.” He was looking at me with dead seriousness in his eyes. A man tormented by anguish, as he spoke he relived every painful moment. “I’ve killed ’em with my bare hands.” He held his hands out shaking them as if choking someone. I thought to myself in amazement I am sitting next to a man who was forced to kill to survive. Think about that next time you meet a vet, it is an amazing and riveting thought. “I was in Vietnam. I was supposed to repair Helicopters that’s what I went there for.” He gave a chuckle as if admiring the own irony in his painful life. “That’s what I was supposed to go there for. Instead I found myself hugging the ground pissing and crapping my pants. My friend dying next to me. My friend Monaco, he was there protecting me. Cut in half, shooting, dying, and all I was shitting and pissing my pants. I had literally crapped my pants. They were soaked, I didn’t even notice. I was grabbing so tightly to the earth. It was like my lover ya know, I just couldn’t get deep enough down in her. Here my friend Monaco was dying and all I did was piss my pants.” The anguish and torment in his face was unbelievable, he hated himself for what happened. “He died.” There was a pause. “He died to save me.” Harry paused again and leaned forward as if to whisper. “So you know what I did? I learned to kill. Boy was I good at it. My whole platoon MWEST0351 they’re all dead. I was the only one who survived.” At this point Harry was totally engrossed in the past that tormented him so. “I killed people with my bare hands. I killed them with my knife. God I loved that knife. It was my dad’s from the Korean war an old kabar.”

“Those were great knives.”

“You know them?” He was somewhat surprised I knew about the kabar. “I tell you what, you want a great account of war a real fiction story without all the bullshit? Read With the Old Breed by E. B. Sledge, best account of war I have ever read.” I made sure to write it down, after all if a writer and a war veteran like Harry recommended it I had to read it. “You ever make dynamite?”

“No.” I shook my head, but immediately I thought of the chemical compound of gun powder KNO3.

“Really?” Harry looked at me shocked. “When I was younger we used to make it, needed it to get rid of stumps. You see we had one of two ways to get rid of em. Dig ’em up or blow ’em up. It used to be real easy to make them. All you’d need is an old cigar tube and some sawdust.” He then explained the rest of the ingredients to make dynamite, of which i left out for obvious reasons. “I used to make dynamite and claymores. You know what those are?” He looked up at me and I nodded, I knew claymores were a type of triggered land mine. “And you never made dynamite before? How do you know all this stuff? Claymores are real easy to make you just get a milk jug fill it up with sand, place it under a car run a wire up to the door. Someone opens the door boom there goes their feet. People better not piss me off or I can fuck them up real bad.” Harry was off thinking about something else. “Kids now a days can find this out a lot easier than they used to.”

“Yes, The Anarchist Cookbook.” Harry again looked at me in amazement, like how do I know about all of this.

“By William Powell?” I nodded “Printed by Ozark press” Harry new it all he too was obviously no stranger to the book. Why would he be it was written during the Vietnam war. Harry smirked in amusement and we just looked out at the Ocean.

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