Song of love and a song from the amazing Rayes band.
Song of love. Hey old man, hey old woman.
1- Hey old man, hey old woman. What have you seen? What have you done?
Can I sit with you? And please tell me a story of a life.
Hello homeless man sitting outside the CVS. Are you okay?
I see the Army Jacket and his tire face.
I sit with him and I asked him. Where are you going? What do you need?
I gave the veteran, a cup of coffee and some food.
He looked up at me and he told me.
Thank you friend and I have no place to go.
Everything I loved is gone, my family had forgot me.
I am just waiting for a good death.
I listened to his tale of Vietnam and how he tried.
He told me, I became a angry man, no-one loved a angry man.
I offered a warm place to rest and he smiled.
Thank you sir. Henry is walking to a warm place.
I told him. If you need something.
I am here five days a week.
He smiled, gave me a salute and he walked away.
2- Me and soldier friend walking in downtown Monterey in 1992 looking for a cold beer.
In front of us. A man knocked a woman to the pavement and a child ran to her.
Me and my friend Bob, 6 foot three, 235 pounds walked over to them.
I asked the man. Why did you hit the woman? He told us to fuck-off and I went close to his face.
I whispered. Please hit me. Bob picks up the woman. The woman and child held on to him.
He saw my Army haircut and he felt my anger. I told him. He had to make a decision. Make me, call the police or
go away. Number three decision, you won’t like. He gave us the middle finger and he walked away.
The woman was crying. She told me and Bob. She escaped Boston and her ex-husband had found her. She had a court order and she was scared. I told her, big Bob and Johnnie will keep you safe. I asked her. Does he know where you Live? She said no. She told us. She was a teacher and her baby girl name was Shelley, and I have few friends here in Monterey. Bob told her, now you have more friends, me and Johnnie. Please join us for lunch. We can talk.
I asked her name and she told me her name was Sue. I asked Shelley. You like ice cream? She said yes. Sue told us. You did enough and I don’t want to bother your life. I know the soldiers are kind and they are busy. Me and Bob laughed. Bob told her. Never too busy to help a mama. Shelley loved you and I know you are a good mama. We will give you our phone numbers and if anyone bothered you. You call us.
We went to the restaurant and we ate and we talked for three hours. We listen to her story. She told us of hard days and how she escaped to Monterey in the Spring. I told her. I am in Monterey, almost everyday. I got a truck and I can take you shopping, if need be. She looked at me and Bob. She asked. Why are you helping me? Bob told her. All of need a helping hand. You are a mama. Me and Johnnie have sisters, grandmas and a mother. A soldier, always have time for someone in need.
She smiled and she asked me. I need to go shopping. I have money and no car yet. I told Bob, go to the Irish pub and I will find you tonight. I took her shopping. I learn she was struggling. She bought the basics needs. Little Shelly wanted pop tarts and a stuff animal. She told her. Not today honey. I told her. Buy what you need. I have a lot of money. Single soldier with paid off truck. My money would buy beer and whiskey. Maybe you are saving me? She laughed at my words and she asked me. Why? So few people been kind to me lately. I took 5 year Shelley to the cereal section. She pick-out her favorite cereal and she told me. You are nice and I like ice cream and chips. I took her to the ice cream aisle and the chip aisle.
I met Sue at the check-out. She told me. Please don’t. I told her. Dear Sue. All of need help. Maybe someday. I can get a home cook meal? Take you and Shelley to Santa Cruz? The bill was almost 200 bucks and I paid the bill. Sue saw I had a lot of money in my wallet and I saw. She felt okay now.
I drove her to her apartment. A small apartment with enough. I helped carry the groceries into her home. The apartment lightly furniture and a few books. She told me. My pay is good and in one year. I will find a better place to live. I told her, you are doing fine dear Sue. Here is my phone number at work and here is Bob phone number. This is my unit number. I am the Supply Sgt. She asked me. Please let’s put the groceries away and maybe you can take me and Shelley to the pier. She loved the caramel apples. Maybe walk on the beach? Me and Shelley, we love the sea.
I told her. Okay. We put the groceries away and we walked the Monterey pier. Shelley ran in the front of us. Her face dirty with caramel apple. We go to the Monterey bay. She took my hand and she told me. I have hated men for a long time and you had shown me. Men can be kind and gentle. Shelley is barefoot and dancing with the sea. Me and Sue joined her.
I asked her. Would her ex-husband find her again? She told me. I believe, he escaped Monterey. He didn’t appreciate the Fort Ord, soldiers. I know now. To scream for help and I have your phone numbers.
I told her. Bob will be okay. He told me often. Cheaper to drink alone. I can sleep on the couch and in the Morning. We can take a field trip to Santa Cruz. Little Shelley would love the piers. So many activities for the kids. She held my hands and she told me. I would appreciate the guard dog.
I laughed and I told her. We need to feel safe Sue. She took my hands, we took Shelley hands and we danced with the September sea. She stopped as Shelley danced with the waves. She asked me. I have told you my story Johnnie, I want to know your story? How did you end-up in Monterey? Who are you? Why the Army?
I told her. Dear Shelley. We decide our life, we decide our journey. Everything we do. Good or bad. We will pay for. Today me and Bob found you and Shelley near the pier. It support to happen. Dear Shelley, all of us need concern, kindness and to be listen to. We have time for my epic story. I could bore a school teacher to a early death? She rested her head in my chest and she told me. Thank you for the good days. I need more good days.