Thursday, December 5, 2013

Words of Wisdom

You see them at a truck stop restaurant sometimes, the retired guys who meet to drink coffee and pass the time. There's one in Odessa, one in Fort Stockton. This was in Pennsylvania, an exit or two down from where I-70 and the turnpike cross. These guys had worked in the mills and factories, rust belt veterans, union men, most likely.

One of them followed me with his eyes when I walked in and sat down. He stood out in appearance from the others. Big ears, big nose, deep set, sad eyes. He reminded me of Jimmy Durante, or Art Carney. A face only a mother could love.

When I'd been seated a minute he said, loud enough so I could hear, "Yep, I worked down at that pipe yard for 30 years. I spent half my money on wine, women and song. The rest I just wasted."

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