David Rutschman

Patrick told me that in Vietnam there was a tiny jungle bird whose call sounded like “re-up.”

Hopping on a branch: Reee-UP! Patrick looked right at me, blinked.

“I must have blown away a dozen of those motherfuckers,” he said.

He cocked his head to the side. He kept staring.

He was waiting to see how I responded, and I didn’t want to let him down. I loved and feared him, both, and I think now that he must have feared me too. I was ten years old.

“Wow,” I said.

He straightened his head with a jerking motion, swiveled it back, watching me: almost like a little bird himself.



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