Like I said in my last entry, I’ve been in San Fran all week. Last night, Friday, I headed out for one of my favorite regular joints, the Daily Grill, just off Union Square. I’m staying on the other side of the square, right atop the Stockton Tunnel. The square’s packed this Friday night in a sea of crimson & gold: USC is up for today’s game with the Cal Bears. I mean: USC is up. There are thousands of people — everywhere.
I admire those students for their carefree attitude, clearly obvious and all around. Enjoy it, kids. You’ll have plenty of time to grind through the reality of life and know evil. Get it while you can.
Because of the crowd, I had to sip my Maker’s Mark Manhattan (up, of course) while standing. But I scoped out a few seats at the bar and one opened up soon enough. Wasn’t long before I found myself chatting with a 60ish gentleman and his wife.
Brits, they are, on holiday. He’s a retired British Army Officer (I was a US Navy Officer), then a cop for a time. He was proud to tell me that he was a cop that carried a gun. If you don’t know, that’s rare in the UK. It didn’t take long for me to determine that he was one of those good, honest cops who knows that his only role is to deal with what he called "scum." Definitely not the kind of guy who was going to be building a career by hassling regular folks for jaywalking, speeding or smoking a joint.
Yea, we talked about the war. He laughed when I paraphrased my friend Billy Beck in talking about the imperative to kill "dirt-scratching, fourteenth-century throwbacks who think they can buy a ticket to paradise by turning in your hide and mine." Says he: "you mean scum." Yep.
So, we talked for a bit, before their table was ready and we parted. There was that brief moment of eye contact, where two human beings acknowledge and pay respect to one-another, and that almost imperceptible ‘nod’ is an understanding of what true evil is and how it must be dealt with. Few people even understand it, much less risk their lives to fight it.
It was their third trip, in all, to America. Just before we parted, we talked of the "European Union." He said that he’d far prefer the UK to become the 51st state.