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Tag Archives: Toast

fragments…Gerry

When Gerry was 14, his 15-year-old brother, Bobby, hitched a ride home from band practice on the back of a friend’s motor scooter, got sideswiped by a car and lay in a coma for 106 days before finally dying. Four bleak, lonely, enraged years later, Gerry graduated from high school near the bottom of his class just as his mother gave birth to a baby girl, Terrie Ann.

After a semester in junior college, Gerry enlisted in the Army and went off to Vietnam, where he spent five years crewing and eventually piloting helicopters through the dense, saturated layers of rising jungle heat. By the time he returned home, Gerry’s boyish face had turned square and handsome and his anger had consolidated into a dark streak of recklessness and a wicked sense of humor.

He moved to Alaska, where he flew search and rescue, enrolled in college, studied philosophy, and acted in community theatre. Continuing a habit he had started in Vietnam, he read voraciously.

Although he was well liked by men and attractive to women, he had few close friends. He dated often but never seriously, and in general seemed to prefer the company of a large brown dog named Toast, who had been riding along in a milk crate on the back of Gerry’s Indian motorcycle since he was a puppy…