St. Vincent

Love Thy Neighbor — through the psychotic, manic, insomniac grass mowers, masters of teaching a dog to only do the doodoo anywhere but their yard. Walking down Ocean Ave, from Sheepshead Bay to Coney Island, Russian hookers whistling their perfumed tunes. Vietnam post traumatic stress disorder and sixty two, government checks, checked out because of the embarrassment, US history books wishing they could forget ‘Nam. Seven and new in school, single mom working through, second shift, cranky old man babysitting you. Splitting skateboards, bullied and over-abused, getting taught to fight like it’s special mission seventy two, dodgeball and a broken nose, pissed off screams “cock sucking pussy whore” old man’s teaching you a language fit for the strippers and jockies, he makes it rain, bets his last dimes, lucky horse, twenty to one odds, two thousand dollars later, strippers singing Moulin Rouge. This is Brooklyn, but this is Sheepshead Bay where junkies and veterans and strippers live parallel to the boardwalk tour. Cyclone thrills, the wooden tracks rattling, the freak show full of gypsies and distorted humanity, but just four blocks down Mermaid Ave you’ve got the unwanted and if the unwanted can teach you anything, it’s that they’re filled with crime and humanity. Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future, Jesus hung with prostitutes and St. Vincent cares for his dying wife by day, afternoons spent preaching to the youth that perfection can lie, to cry on a silver pole, and that a cranky old man has more under the surface, than the lies our naked eye’s perceptions allow us to believe.

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