Be Gay

Be gay, he says, be gay, because he gets along with so many people. Thatís his name you see, Begay. Itís a wonder how he does it, itís a miracle that he smiles, and itís so beautiful. Introduced himself as a Navajo and said something about giving credit to the Whites and their technology, especially welding, he said. Told me his girlfriend can be real mean and points to the scratches on his face to verify. She broke up with him two weeks ago.

For a cigarette and a pocketful of change he told me some of his stories. His brothers: the one went to war in Vietnam, spent five years in a POW camp and didnít know his family anymore when he came home Ė shot himself in the head in Albuquerque, New Mexico; the other also enlisted, but it was alcohol that killed him, though not before heíd told him not to enlist. He enlisted; ROTC threw him out for smoking a joint. You ass! You whore! You fucker, Iíll kick your ass! Left! Right! Left! Right! The whole unit was Navajo, but he got along with Hopi, Zuni, Hualapai, Supai, everyone Ė Whites too. When they threw him out, they broke his saber in half. On graduation day they broke his saber in half.

That night, he and his superior got drunk together; later he kicked his ass. He kicked his brotherís ass too; his brother taught him some judo and he used it to kick his ass. Made sure to mention the code talkers of World War II and gave them their due credit. Code talkers and then the spirit walkers, who he says donít like crystals. Prayed to mother earth, life and father sky on the side of the street in Dinť, and made sure to hand me the tobacco in a circle. He thanked me and walked down the street. Be gay, he laughed and smiled, itís because he gets along with everyone.