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Goodnight Sir Thompson...

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armyowalgreens Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 07:22 AM
Original message
Goodnight Sir Thompson...
Edited on Sun Aug-23-09 07:32 AM by armyowalgreens
I just experienced one of the weirdest and most touching early morning conversations of my entire life.

My friends and I decided to get really drunk tonight to celebrate our last weekend before school starts. After several hours of beer pong, we decided to go to taco bell to quell our munchies sometime around 3.

As we sat outside eating, a man patted me on the back and asked for some food and money. Being in an extremely charitable mood, due to my inebriation, I shared a taco with him. A friend gave him a dollar.

He introduced himself as Sir Thompson. He was a man of average height, wearing a faded, stretched blue shirt and blackened pants. His arms were covered with tattoos applied a lifetime ago. He carried a tattered red backpack with him. His rough, leathered skin wrapped around his gaunt body. There was a Z shaped scar on the bridge of his nose. His hand was swollen and obviously badly broken.

Clearly this man has seen more in his years on this earth than I could ever imagine.

Sir Thompson invited himself to sit down next to me as the girls in my group cringed and leaned away. He offered to tell us a story and, before a single one of us could utter a message of disapproval, he began.

His story was mostly incoherent. It involved gooks, air craft carriers, fox holes and M-16s. God only knows if what he said was in any way tied to a true event in history. But, so it seemed, Sir Thompson believed every word he uttered. He was a Marine. He motioned with his arms how he fired the M-16 at the enemy as they advanced across the canal. He described the explosion of napalm dropped by friendly aircraft to create a barrier between himself and the "gooks."

He then told us stories about his own children that were right around the same age as my friends and I. They were in college and on their way to living a happy life.

After he finished, he turned to me and asked me to tell a story. He asked all of us to tell a story. I explained my families history in the armed forces. A few other friends described their boring childhood in suburban sprawl.

One friend told the story of his younger brother, who he had donated marrow to but had watched die, only a few years ago, from leukemia.

Another friend talked of dealing with the recent pain of losing a loved one in a car accident. She began to cry.

Sir Thompson reached out and grabbed her hand to comfort her.

It seemed as though this man had caused us all to share our lives with each other on the dark, humid corner of Apache and Rural on a cool summer night.

Sir Thompson brought out a bottle of juice and sang out chants in some language that I could not understand. It sounded like Navajo. Then he drank.

He removed a bag of sea shells from his back pack. He carefully selected a shell for each one of us as a gift. Mine was mostly white with brown speckles. I asked him where the shell came from, but he could not remember. God only knows how far this man has traveled with these shells.

He then removed a drawing from his pack. It was an amazingly accurate sketch of a tiger. Sir Thompson gave it to the girl that had been crying.

I told the man that it was nearing 4:30 and that we must go home to bed soon to sleep off the nights events. We all thanked him. I shook his hand and wished him the best of luck. Then we parted ways.

There was a name signed at the bottom of the tiger sketch...

"Dwayne Thompson"

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WillParkinson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 08:06 AM
Response to Original message
1. Thank you ArmyofWalgreens for sharing...
And thank you Mr. Thompson for just being.
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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 08:11 AM
Response to Original message
2. A great story to remember for the rest of your life
Edited on Sun Aug-23-09 08:13 AM by lunatica
Thanks for telling it, which, by the way, you do very well. You came away with something by keeping an open mind. It reminds me of something I heard once which goes something like this, "If you keep an open mind you never know what gems might drop into it."
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armyowalgreens Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 05:15 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. That's what I kept thinking. Who knows how many times that man was rejected by others.
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sarge43 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 08:11 AM
Response to Original message
3. How very fortunate you are.
You met the Storyteller and Healer. He has walked the roads since the first days, carrying wounds and memories that only the strongest can endure. He tells his stories, beautiful and awful, for remembrance sake. He listens to ours, knowing they will comfort and perhaps heal. He will tell our stories to others, weaving a web through time. He walks the dark roads to remind us that in the end all we have is each other.

Blessed be, Dwayne Thompson.
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