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  • He almost died a few months before he actually died.

    It was New Years Eve, bottles were flowing and guns were popping off. One popped off about a foot away from his head. His thick brow and the nature of a hollow point bullet saved him. Later that day when i showed up to see him his brother was there, pacing the room and quiet and stern as ever. My friend was out cold and his eyes were swollen shut, his face disfigured and the size of gourd. He had been shot at point blank range with a 9mm and was probably going to die. That's what we thought, at least.

    Right before we left though, as the great sadness and the great silence flew all around the room, he started waving his hand at his side. We called the nurses and then we stood there together and watched his big beautiful tattooed hand.

    Two fingers, thumb index gun symbol (letter L), two fingers and a swipe of the hand.

    Again, two fingers, thumb index gun symbol (letter L), two fingers and a swipe of the hand. Over and over.

    His brother Steve finally said, "Sam, are you saying II Legit II Quit?"" Sam gave a thumbs up, his hand went slack and i guess he drifted back into some sort of light coma. We all set there stunned, no one really laughing but a few of us smiling. It was quite possibly his finest hour.

    He died by his own accident prone hand 10 months later. There was a half written life story in a notepad next to him. He died alone in bed with a cigarette in his mouth. But when this photograph was taken, he wasn't even close to being dead. He was the epitome of the will to survive peppered with pride and showmanship. He was more alive than he had ever been and he wanted to be sure we all knew.

    Two fingers, thumb index gun symbol (letter L), two fingers and a swipe of the hand.

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