tow-truck guru

“you should go into politics,” i tell him.

“i am in politics,” he says. “in greek, the word ‘politicos’ means ‘having interest in politics.’ i am in politics, as we all should be.”

his name is andre. his face is pointed, soft with beard. his eyes stare straight ahead. our car has been injured. he’s towing trent and i home.

“we’ve given up on change,” he states. “we don’t believe in anything. we need to turn off the **-box and open up some books.”

andre is russian. he loves his home country. tells us of chechnya, putin and stalin who’s “very misunderstood.” stalin wanted unity. russians loved stalin. craved peace. his eyes get teary.

andre is 25. he lives with his mother and brother in toronto. his father, an electrical engineer, couldn’t stand the city. returned to russia. andre worries for his mother. worries she’ll be sucked dry by the economic vacuum of the city.

andre learns i am a writer. tells me my job then is to educate myself. “you have a great responsibility,” he says. “people believe what you write. you need to know the truth.”

“is it possible to know the truth?” i ask.

“yes,” he says, without flinching. “without a doubt. the truth is out there. we just need to find it.”

he speaks of george soros, of lyndon larouche. tells me not to waste my time ranting about things that don’t matter. i nod, humbled by what i don’t know.

we pull into our driveway, unhook our car. shake his hand. watch him drive away. wonder how to continue life without our tow-truck guru.

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