Michael. I am no longer in Seattle. I am in Guam. Still, I take a daily walk to the grocery store. It is a bit further from my home to the store, but that’s rarely bothered me. 

On the road to the grocery story, I saw a tent. I never saw the occupant. I have glanced at it and wondered each day and each time. That all changed today. Maybe it changed yesterday. 

I told my sister about the tent, and she recommended that I leave a note of encouragement for the occupant. As I walked to the store today, I passed a poor man, and said “Hafa Adai.” That is like Aloha. I suspected that he might have been the occupant of the tent. 

As I was walking home, he was there. Shirtless, smoking a cigarette and drinking water. I asked him for his name. Michael. 

We had a lengthy conversation. He showed me his tattoos. One represented Saint Michael with a sword and heart. One of the Devil. One of Jesus. One of the Crucifix. He told me that he never explained them to anyone before. But he did to me. He told me that he is on probation. He didn’t say exactly for what, but that he had 4 kids and his wife had left him. He wants a home. He’s only lived in places made of timber and sheet metal. 

I asked him if there was anything that I could do for him. I offered to give him the milk or the tea that I was carrying. He said, “No.” Instead, he asked what he could do for me, and gave me a handshake and a hug.

I have been through gipsy villages, literally in the houses of people in poverty while they and their children slept on the ground. This man in a tent refused any charity. He does not want to be a bum. Instead he offered me a handshake and a hug.

Okay. This one I am sharing with no need for permission. When I say “permission,” I am not talking about submission. Just respect.

I wrote this in a Training Meeting, when there was nothing valuable to me. That Lieutenant Colonel became a 3-star General, so this might be an indictment of me. Or maybe not. Seriously. It was a damned boring meeting.

I would we had eternity for our hearts to grow.

We’d come together gradually and gladly take things slow.

We’d orbit in a lover’s dance, like the earth and moon,

Touching after ages passed, yet our courtship would still end too soon.

Then through the blur of day and night, the galaxies would fly.

The universe would see the light that shown from you and I.

Our love would ever last, known amongst the stars,

And even Polaris’ eye would have to wink when he saw that love of ours.

But God and man have separate plans for our destiny

Man steals time from God’s divine curse of mortality

And so my lady I beseech thee. Verily I implore

If you’ll take your chances on my love, waste not a moment more.

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