I THOUGHT IT WAS ALL OVER.
I THOUGHT THAT I COULD COME HOME…
I WAS WRONG. DEAD WRONG.
Fall in Minnesota. Summer was gone…finally. I hate summer. I always have. Too much sun. Too hot. Too many bugs. And now…unfortunately…too old to wear really cute sun tops…sigh..
November on the other hand, is the perfect month. The sun hardly ever shines and when it does, it’s weak and getting weaker…almost dying…I’m okay with that.
The wind is chilly but not piercing…not yet anyway. November here is just like November in Winnipeg, Canada. I love Canada.
I lived in Canada for many years…beginning in 1969…yes…that date is correct…and whatever you want to wonder about that…go right ahead.
It makes no difference to me. I am way beyond that. But here is something you don’t need to wonder about…because it is true.
The Vietnam war was a horrible and tragic mistake.
And…more than 58,000 young boys and men lost their lives because of that mistake…and one of them was my very best forever friend, Johnny Taylor.
I met Johnny at an outrageous Halloween party in 8th grade.
From that night on, he was my only true friend in so many ways and later became my forever friend and then…my ever so sweet and delightful lover.
Johnny didn’t die in Vietnam…oh, he was there all right. He was definitely there…for 365 long, brutal, killing days and nights. He was there for every single one of them.
And then…he came back home…to die of a heroin overdose…in my arms…in the back of a speeding ambulance with me screaming into his beautiful, unseeing brown eyes.
“YOU CAN’T DIE!! YOU CAN’T LEAVE ME!! YOU PROMISED YOU WOULD NEVER LEAVE ME AGAIN! YOU PROMISED!!!”
It was 1967. He was 19. I was 18.