Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Brother Gino

Oh...I looked! I really didn't want to but I did. I tell my mind not to but my head turns nonetheless. I have no control, sort of like a marionette who's strings are being pulled and tugged by unseen forces. Looking is not the problem. It's when I actually spot one that conjures up all those feelings that are more than unpleasant and that we tend to put inside a box and duct tape the hell out leakage or oozing allowed. I call them trolls. Not out loud of course because that would be so politically incorrect and I would be viewed as an insensitive bitch, but that is far from the truth, My sensitivities run deeper than most, I can truly feel your pain. I began looking almost a decade ago, shortly after my brother told me a story of a hitchhiking nightmare that he endured. My brothers name was Gino and he was a great storyteller. He had the gift of remembering every detail while I can hardly remember what I ate for breakfast yesterday morning. Yogurt I think......or maybe a muffin....Anyway, the story he relayed goes something like this...Brother Gino wanted to leave before the weather turned too cold. Like me, he detested the winters here in Cincinnati since we grew up in Miami, Florida and loved the ocean and tropical climate. So he packed a duffel bag, stuck his thumb in the air and began hitchhiking his way south. He managed to catch a ride with a semi-truck driver who drove him all the way down to W. Virginia before he had to exit the highway to head off in another direction. Brother Gino walked back up the exit ramp and started walking south with his thumb once again stuck in the air trying to catch another ride. He walked and walked for what seemed like hours without any luck. The sun was beginning to go down along with his spirits. He was hungry, tired and cold since the temperature dropped as quickly as the setting sun. He was walking up to an overpass when he got the idea that this could suffice as his refuge for the night. The incline wasn't too steep and the ledge on top was wide enough to accommodate his size without fear of rolling off onto the freeway if he should have the misfortune of tossing and turning in his sleep. But there was no sleep for him on that freezing night somewhere in W. Virginia underneath the overpass. The weather proved too cold and brother Gino believed that he would die of hypothermia. It was 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning and he had never been so cold for such a length of time. That concrete held on to the freezing dampness the way a starving dog holds onto a bone. So he did the only thing he could do...Gino opened his duffel bag and pulled out an article of clothing. I think he said it was a Doors T-Shirt..God how I used to be madly in love with Jim Morrison....He then fished a pack of matches out of his pocket and proceeded to light the bundle of cotton on fire, but the warmth was short-lived. He then pulled another article of clothing out of his duffel, fished the matches from his pocket and repeated the process, over and over again through the night until every single piece of clothing was incinerated. Brother Gino truly believed that he would die that night but that was not his destiny. His death would come years later under different circumstances that were just as dire. Since his death I look, I really can't help myself. I look under the overpasses whenever I travel the highways and the byways looking for trolls, the lost and forgotten souls who for whatever reason have given up on life and given up on themselves. The  Vietnam veterans, the abused, the alcoholics and drug addicts, the overly sensitive misfits and tortured souls who can make no rhyme or reason of societies structure and where they fit in. I look....and I cannot help myself. I am looking for my brother Gino and all the brothers in this world who could not find beauty in life, who lost their ability to laugh and find some sort of joy. I am looking for those who have forgotten to love themselves and feel that they deserve to die alone in some God forsaken place,,,,,my heart cries for them....why do we suffer so.....dear God, why?

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