Something else to come out of the Thanksgiving trip to Connecticut was the knowledge that Fat Al is dead.
Fat Al was my mother's boyfriend from the time I was around 12 or so until I was 18. That age when what a boy really needs is an unemployed 300-pound bully bent on completely realigning his personality hanging around the house, eating dietetic cookies and watching daytime television.
Fat Al did teach me how to fight (dirty), and also gave me his Saint Christopher medallion ("You're going to need this, you little shit" or somesuch) which I wore (religiously?) until the chain it was on on my neck finally gave out this past summer and the object disappeared into the folds of my room, where it most likely remains. Unless the ghosts have it. This, I suppose, is the only aspect of the religion he tried to instill in me that took.
Inexplicably, Fat Al was a Catholic, even though he was also reputedly half American Indian. He was also an incredibly ignorant, bigoted, and in general mean-spirited human being who believed that homosexuals and the disabled should be euthanized.
Fat Al would not drive into Hartford because he had allegedly severely beaten two black men with a tire iron during some sort of incident and feared the repecussions of this act. I suppose a white man of his size does most likely stand out in Hartford.
I cannot honestly say that he was not kind to me in some psychotic way, but if his God exists, I must say I do fear for him.
However, as you most likely already know, I am an agnostic, and no-one's judge.