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Elmos’ Goose

March 22, 2007

Sammy opened up when I knocked and gave me a hug and a 2 cheek kiss. Eyes full of rheumy and discoloration, breath like a goats’ ass after a wine enema, skin a road map of red threads and broken blood vessels. Since I was a little boy he’d been going at me with the kisses. I used to push him off me and now I didn’t have the heart to resist. I needed the kisses as much as he needed to give them. Sam never married, nursed both his Mom and Dad through cancer, to their graves, and ended up with the house, his retarded brother, and whatever else it was he had. I never heard him talk of money or work. I had asked my Pop years ago about how Sammy got along without doing anything.
” Angels wit’ big fluffy wings is how, kiddo. Angels”. Pop looked at me and smiled, and I never brought it up again.
Sammy had a rough looking limp that was worsening with age. As he ambled and lurched in front of me I got a pain watching him move.
“Come on ya little stroonz, your Pops’ in the Dinin’ Room wit Gennaro”.
” Sam, take Goose and go to Florida already. That limp is turning into a hobble. Pretty soon you won’t get laid at all”.
” When I start takin orders from you s’when I move to Florida”. Moving on through the Parlor, he leaned to take the Tiparillo stub from the dish on his Mom’s drum-top table. Never faltered..done it a million times.
” Just a suggestion for my old uncle”,I said and watched Quasimodo go along.
“Cuba gonna open up again soon, just watch. That’s where me And the Goose are going…little brown ladies in the bathtub, right before I get a fuckin’ blow-job and after a nice Cuban dinner. Fuckin’ Pooch the stroonz and you always was, right you mister know everthing”? I saw his back jiggle as he entered the dining room and knew he was laughing.
Pop was at at the table next to the Goose who watched a TV set up on a wine-stained lace doily. He had his arm around the guy and watched Elmo’s world with him, looking intently at the screen.
“I love this Elmo…you ever watch Elmo’s world Paulie” The arm that wasn’t around Goose lifted automatically and the hand was waving me over as he looked at Elmo. When I wasn’t within reach in three seconds, he looked over at me with the face only a son can know, and to me it had never changed. It was invincible, it was rock hard, it had the eyes of love I had never seen on anyone ever and that love never altered, never changed…it was Pop. My Pop, The Junkyard Dog…one tough old son of a bitch.

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