These days, you’re the only Townie I would know on sight as you grace our Riverside Cemetery in your own hellos, tall as all get-out, robust, time marking your way past that mere issue, and a charmer from a distance on any day of the week. I wish, among other issues and dreams, that you’d recognize me, wrap those loving arms around me, greet the passing among all these stones, upright, neat in place, fighting off the centuries one by one.
‘Dear Pat,” I’d say, “you’re my one and only connection to those old times we share alone, where Charlestown is a vital third character in its continual thrust into or out of our most favored memories, vibrance itself being the last definition you free upon me. You are a charmer still, a total woman paying homage, being upright, all others being prostrate, covered, all freed parts on the heavenly loose.”
Each time I’m driven to Riverside Cemetery for my own hellos, I look for you and Jack who’s there every day, fair or foul, in his constant care of a lost soul scattered above the clouds, past a circular moon at daytime generation, a girl hanging on yet in his case, his eyes never showing it but his constant attendance last marked by her being, whatever state or condition it was in, memories ever in control.
The last time I saw you, a few years ago when I was more mobile than I am now, bound by aluminum walker and wooden cane, you were electric, all those magnificent parts still gathered for acclaim and adoration. I somehow, someway of fashion and desire, knew the pressure of those arms about me like a dream unleashed; oh, how you make yourself known, cut away soft shadows, merge shadow and spirit in one hallowed space, come into mind, come out of the unknown destiny of all souls loose of this earth, this small capture of eternal Time.
I can see you as you were when three supposedly tough dudes from elsewhere dared come onto hallowed ground and had command of Sis Garrity in a dark alley beside Haley’s Houses, but you did not scream your location or your fear, but slipped into McCartney’s Pub and gave the alarm for Sis, that a proper group reach her side and salvage her amidst a beating of your administration, that whole night carried off on its own.
You didn’t want a war, you had enough of war bound in or bound out, but you wanted rescue, relief, get-even stuff, to send a message to those invaders, their allies and compatriots, that we weren’t to be treated by rough-house stuff, back-alley stuff, “not now” stuff.
That is the reason you sidled your silken self into Moroney’s Pub. sought the table and the crew you wanted, sat at that table, leaned inward as if to release a secret, and said, “Three aliens have Sis Garrity in the alley beside Haley’s Houses and she doesn’t like their company.”
That is all you had to say; not another word, the alarm almost raised silently, without clamor. Your voice was at low key, none of the three listeners finished their drinks, but rose at once, as one, and moved from the premises to rescue Sis and wreak their own very serious version of Hell.
They told you later, after Sis was taken home, unhurt, delighted at rescue how it all went down in a sudden war on home grounds: “We caught them in surprise, Sis still quiet, not screaming, but hoping for help, and three heroes of the highest order, the kind she had hoped for, suddenly in the mix.
Hell, we know out here in this savage world, comes in many forms, in many degrees, in many names formulated from our actions, and makes itself known, like with 6 fists that have developed into 30 fists with dynamite in each punch, on each cracked jaw, in sudden belief of the most terrible punches men can deliver, which some simply call “lessons learned,” right to the damned roots.
Sis Garrity told you that the rescue crew you warned of her need was the very same group she had hoped for, fear never a part of their make-up, courage galore in their midst, and fists of weapons at the service of need, fair play, and proper retribution when so needed. Your mind played it all out before it got too far on the home grounds, to your readiness, and problem solution and quick rectification. In an instant your mind said a well-know trio was the best solution, tried and true, survivors of combat battles on two continents, as well as a brace of Pacific islands whose names still bring a chill with them regardless of the jungles that fostered in place.
Of hundreds of such trios, your group has been hailed as super-heroes even to these days, and were ready when summoned. Many of their likeness are around us, but knowledge and trust of them in time of trouble is a brightness we all should have or curry. Heroes dwindle in size, often disappear into normalcy, but the blood count is eternally stabilized, as though they stand on tip-toes waiting for such calls: “Help” is a human cry that impels action, draws able folks into service, makes themselves known again, for another escapade.
Your aptitude and readiness measures are at a high degree; there are few like you, and we all should strive to replicate. Emergencies come at any time, we know, and readiness is often the first reaction we can make, hoping that first step is in the best direction possible, for trouble comes on its own otherwise, like shots in the dark, a trip on a set of steps, a mind at wandering about silly worries that might just come calling out of nowhere, yet are understood.
But even now, away from that old neighborhood that still draws us into its old self, like a mercury at wild moments, we leap to attention, and are branded as ready for the next salute or problem.
Two Townies of the ages.
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