Veteran’s Day on the A Train
Today is Veteran’s day, and as I was riding the subway I noticed a homeless old veteran, voicing his thoughts out loud about the war in Iraq and the current healthcare debate to a captive audience; we shared the same car all the way from Brooklyn up to 34th street where I got off and he kept on, an elderly African-American man wearing his baggy old leather coat and jeans and carrying a plastic Pearl Paint bag with his stuff in it. I tried to jot down some of what he was saying in my sketchbook:
“Sometimes it feels like a real mess, don’t it, folks? The United States is the wealthiest, most powerful nation probably in the history of the world; 95% of the earth’s land mass is within striking range of the U.S. Navy, 24 hours a day, seven days a week; and what do we do about healthcare for our own citizens? Let them be jack-rolled by the health-insurance industry, that’s what! Fuck ‘em! That’s right, you heard what I said: you don’t have a right to healthcare, honey! You have a right to a casket and a trip to the graveyard, sweetheart! Homeless Veterans? Fuck them too! They don’t have a right to anything either!
“You people want to see a fuckin’ parade? You want to celebrate something? Have a fuckin’ parade for Death! That’s what you should have a parade for! You know why? Death don’t discriminate! Death don’t care what color you is, or whether you is insured or not! Fuck Veteran’s Day, man! Let’s have a Death Parade! You think you’re hot shit? You think you’re bad? Then let’s see you end the war in Iraq! That’s right! Let’s see you put an end to homelessness! That’s right folks! Death don’t respect nobody, not even Michael Jackson! Not even Michael Fucking Jackson, the King of Pop! Death don’t respect nobody, no sir! Everybody gets treated the same by Death! Let’s have a National Holiday and a ticker-tape Parade for Death! No shit, man! Your death is someone else’s holiday, baby!”