A better man than I spent his sleepless nights smoking Saigon cigarettes on this step for the better part of two decades.
He joined North Vietnam’s Army when he was only 17 and spent the best years of his life in the most-bombed jungle in the history of humankind. A knack for taking things apart and putting them back together kept him far from the firing line.
For years, he survived on pressed rice and powdered peanuts. He once told me elephant meat had no flavor; his greatest days were spent eating stolen Spam.
After reaching Saigon and bringing marshall law to District 4 (Saigon’s perennial hive of scum and villainy), he found himself battling the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.
These days, he tinkers and tends to doves who cannot forget him or his home no matter how far away he tries to sell them.
I used to think he must be crazy for sitting up all night smoking and staring at the same window.
I only realized tonight it’s as beautiful a window as anyone might want for blowing smoke out of.