**Girl on the Blog**

Saturday, November 26, 2005

His name is Eugene...

Was everyone's Thanksgiving as tasty as mine? I do believe I will be working out at the gym every day next week to get the 5 lbs, I gained this holiday, off. Gee Whiz... I was definitely not worshiping "my temple"... I was torturing it by stuffing Turkey, Mac & Cheese, Mashed Potatoes, Ham, Cranberries, Broccoli Casserole, Bread, Stuffing, Deviled Eggs, Cheese Ball, and Cherry Pie down my throat. I hope the "weight fairy" is not punishing each one of you.

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Ever since I was a little girl, there has always been one man who really scared me. Eugene wanders around our town square. Coffee in hand he talks walks and shakes to himself. He never will look anyone straight in the eye... he is in a land far, far away. He has always been a sort of "icon" in the community. He is one no one talks about and no one seems to befriend... but everyone knows him.

Friday I was in town and I witnessed a miracle. One, I do believe, I helped create.

"Damn-it Eugene! I can't keep taken ya pennies. Ya gonna have to start bringin dolla' bills and silva coins to pay for ya coffee and donuts. This is my thurd time tellin ya this." Ledia stated with a southern tone that would make anyone feel two-inches tall.

Eugene looked past Ledia's right shoulder with hollow eyes. It was a look of one who had no soul.

Ledia looked down, the tone of her voice lowered, shaking her head, "Eugene, just rememba next time. Okay?"

She handed him his steaming hot black coffee and one glazed donut.

The afternoon went by and I ran into Eugene again. This time he was sitting on a bench outside of Beasley's clothing store.

I walked by him with my son in my arms. I noticed his eyes were following me. For some reason I stopped and turned and looked at him. Our eyes met. The once filled hollow eyes were now glistening.

To my surprise the soft-spoken 'scary' man whispered, "I had me a son once."

Startled, I smiled "Ya did? There is nothin like 'em."

While stealing a glance of my son his voice quivered "Yeah, nothin like 'em. It's been 62 years since I seen him."

My heart dropped and I didn't know what to say. Before I could really think I sat down beside him and blurted out "Would ya like to hold my son?"

He looked at me with deep desire and then slumped down and hung his head. "No, mam."

I sat with him for a few more minutes in silence. I finally stood up to walk away. While in the mist of standing I dropped my keys. Eugene bent over and picked them up.

"Thank you," I whispered.

"No, miss, thank you for talkin' to me," he stated while handing me my keys.

He leaned back on the bench and his brief glistening eyes turned back to hollow.

Eugene is a WWII vet. I asked my mother-in-law what happened to him. She says his wife left him while he was over seas fighting. When he returned she had taken his only son and all of his possessions. He has never been the same. Wandering the streets for years... with a lost soul. I wonder if his "lost soul" is from what he saw during the war or from a broken heart. My mother-in-law said she never knew of him having any family except a brother, a brother who is now dead. It really didn't matter; he never came to see Eugene in the first place.

Eugene lives in a veteran's home near my residence. I do believe I will be seeing him again real soon. The man who once scared me as a child, in my eyes, is now a man who needs a friend. To bad it has taken years for me to realize this. To bad no one else has tried to befriend this lost soul.

I am so thankful for my freedom and for those who fight for us. I salute each one of you. Let us never forget those like Eugene. Even after the war... he is still fighting in a land far, far away.


Until we meet again....

Update... http://girlontheblog.blogspot.com/2005/11/his-name-is-eugene.html.
This is the permalink for this entry. Since changing my blog skin... my permalink icon has been taken off. I can't figure out how to get it back on. At the beginning of the year I will be changing my blog address. I will let everyone know when this happens.

Posted by Girl on the Blog :: 3:32 PM :: 23 Comments:

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