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  • Big Pat scooped me up in the hospital and hightailed it. Our getaway car was a white El Camino with white leather interior. (With the exception of a big-blue-bubble-gum-stain on the back seat.) We drove like hell to get out of there. Kicking up dust and sliding over gravel. Our destination was the old farm which lives on in my memory as a single red barn and a long set of stairs. And a calico cat. Fluffy.

    Big Pat heated up formula on the wood stove while he sang Jay and The Americans songs into a Molson Export stubby. I cooed encouragement. Pumping my little fists along with the music. Chewing my toes to the beat.

    "Baby Skins... you're in for a wild ride!" he bellowed between versus. Then he laughed until only high-pitched wheezes escaped his throat. The party continued late into the evening.

    When we were sufficiently tired Big Pat laid me across his massive chest. His heart was a tympani. He smelled of home.

    The last thing I remember that first day was Big Pat singing...

    "I have often walked down this street before;
    But the pavement always stayed beneath my feet before.
    All at once am I Several stories high.
    Knowing I'm on the street where you live."
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