Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Flour Flowers

When Scott entered the doorway, he blocked out the light. He was about 6 foot 6, three hundred pounds and had less fat than skim milk. He told me that he had been in Special Forces and could kill a man with his hands in at least 12 ways. He wasn't proud of his skill and mentioned them casually. He said that he went into the service at eighteen and was trained to be a killer. He said that he was good at it but that there wasn't much else he could do well. Scott was depressed with the world and its violence. He was particularly concerned about young people and the gangs. Scott wanted to start an Alternative to Violence program in the dorm but he said that the other men seemed too intimidated to believe that he wanted to teach something besides hurting. He said that there were certain disadvantages to his size because people made assumptions that were not true. He said that he really wanted to be a teacher and he would especially like to teach youngsters about art, classical music, and great literature. "I don't want to think about killings", he said. "I want to think about love and the beauty of the world. I know that I have been sentenced to life without parole but even in prison I can teach someone." He wrote poetry and loved music.

One day he brought me a flower. The vase was the top of a shampoo bottle. The flower was made of bread. The stem and leaves were colored green by string beans. The flower was red with beet juice. It seemed incredibly tiny in his huge hand. I kept it until it finally returned to the flour from whence it came.

A friend and I were watching TV and she asked me if I thought that there were really men who were built like those buff guys on the beach. I told her that I see hard bodies every day. I see more hard bodies than on all TV shows and on all beaches.

There was a very nice young man and with a six-pack and cuts on his whole body. His was gorgeous and he was a paraplegic. A bullet severed his spine. It was not an accident. He was selling drugs out of his territory and the dealer wanted to make a point. This is not uncommon. Anyway, this young man was going up north for 6 1/2 to 12 and said that he wanted to keep in shape in case there was some research drugs or surgery and he wanted to be a candidate for clinical trials. He had hopes in a cure. He wanted to be part of it.