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Upon the Willful Ignorance of Men

Upon the Willful Ignorance of Men

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Upon the Willful Ignorance of Men

132 pages
1 hour
Jan 24, 2016


A coming of age tale about an unknown drifter that rediscovers who he is after falling from grace in his beloved city of New York.

Jan 24, 2016

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Upon the Willful Ignorance of Men - Bridget Campos

Upon the Willful Ignorance of Men

Bridget Campos

Upon the Willful Ignorance of Men

Copyright Bridget Campos 2015

In association with

4BMC Publication, Los Angeles, California

Original Photo by: Alexandra Bolinder-Gibsand

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means-except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews-without written permission.

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

The characters portrayed in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental and not intended by the author.


These people are always in a hurry to go nowhere. It’s. Really. Sad, the drifter said to himself as he sat on the ledge of a residential building, as he watched others below him trying to get past their early morning commute to work.

A cold breeze brushed up against the man’s face as he bundled up in his thick layered sports coat, embracing the sudden burst of wind that caused his face to scrunch up. He pulled his hands out of his pockets to adjust his beanie, while tilting his head upward to look at the cloudy sky.

Within a few hours, the clouds began to separate as the sun peeked through the now vibrant blue sky. The hustle and bustle of the city’s sidewalk and car traffic flow has started to dwindle down.

Since he is uncomfortable being around heavily crowded areas, the drifter saw this as an opportunity to go about his usual routine. He climbed down the building’s fire escape and made a bee line to a small group of people waiting to get on the bus, so he could bum cigarettes off at least one of them.

As soon as the drifter walked towards the bus stop, one of the pedestrians--an older woman turned her head to avoid eye contact with him, pretending she’s on the phone.

You wish, lady. I wouldn’t even give you the satisfaction of giving me a handy, The drifter thought to himself, indignant that the older woman would be so rude towards him.

He then came across another person, next to the older woman, and asked him, Can I get a cigarette, man? I’m having trouble keeping warm. But the person seemed oblivious to the drifter’s request, not even acknowledging him. He just looked straight ahead at the car traffic and gave no response.

Yeah, I feel the same way about you too, buddy, the drifter told the person as he proceeded to spit right next to the pedestrian’s shoe as he walked by. Having felt threatened by the drifter’s insulting gesture, the pedestrian moved immediately to the other side that was closer to the bus stop bench. The drifter looked back at the intimidated person and smirked; happy that he got a reaction and hoped to have ruined the person’s day.

Having passed two other people, the drifter noticed a man in his 50’s with long, dirty blond hair, and wearing disheveled clothing. To the drifter, the older man is possibly an Army veteran because his slightly faded, green military jungle jacket has many embroidered patches on it. But the one patch that stood out the most, aside from the American flag patch on the right side of his chest, was a combat infantry badge over his heart. The design of the embroidered badge is silver colored and one inch in height and three inches in width. It featured a service rifle on a light blue bar with a silver border, enclosed in an oak-leaf wreath. There are two stars on top of the wreath to indicate subsequent awards for soldiers having fought in more than one war.

Another patch was on the vet’s top left shoulder sleeve that reads: 25th Infantry Division Vietnam Veteran. In the center of the patch is an insignia design of a taro leaf that’s colored in red and gold edges with a lightening rod straight down the middle to indicate that the 25th U.S. Army division was based in Hawaii.

The drifter saw that the veteran was in no hurry to get on the bus, since he’s leaning on the glass panels of a retail store, begging for change from customers exiting and entering the building. This was an opportunity to use the beggar’s military background in order to get the smokes that the drifter wanted.

Though he hated talking to others, the drifter mustered up the courage to engage in small talk with the vet. For him, it’s all a show. And so he, with a phony grin on his face, asked the beggar, You got some smokes for a brother in arms?

But the Army vet saw right through his façade. And said to him in a husky voice, Sorry, man. I don’t smoke.

By the raspiness in the vet’s voice, the drifter is not buying it. But he doesn’t give up because he knew that the army vet was holding out on him. So he decided to stand right next to the beggar, leaning on the store’s glass panels as well. He watched as each person either ignored the begging vet or gave him a couple of dollars here and there.

The beggar muttered under his lip, Um, ya blockin’ me.

The drifter asked, Say what now?

Ya blocking my Army vet patch. People won’t see it when they is comin’ in and out of here, he replied back, but now in a more annoyed tone of voice.

Oh, sorry, man, he said, a little bit embarrassed that the vet raised his voice at him. So the drifter moved to the right side of him instead, which caused the beggar to let out a huge sigh, because the drifter is not getting the point that he wanted to be left alone.

After a few minutes of silence, the drifter tried one more time to break the ice with the Army veteran by introducing himself. He said to the beggar, My name is Jimmy by the way...

The drifter paused for a moment as he watched people getting on the bus, he added, These fuckers don’t know what we’ve been through. What we have seen out there in the battlefields. Not one clue!

The Army vet glanced at Jimmy, finally acknowledging him. So Jimmy felt compelled to ask the beggar, So where are you headed?

The vet replied, Now how do you know I’m headed somewhere?

Because the way you are dressed, you are not from around here. First off, you have a thin covered jacket. And dark khaki pants are cool to wear if you want your nuts to go numb-- not to mention your Southern accent is a dead giveaway.

Oh, you’re good, man, the vet said to him impressed by Jimmy’s ability to read others.

A New Yorker can always spot a tourist, Jimmy said with a big smirk on his face.

I came here to visit a fellow soldier that was part of my Army brigade just right up the street. Then I was planning on heading back home to Texas, the veteran said while he pulled out a folded paper from his right breast pocket of his jacket and handed it to Jimmy.

The drifter unfolded the paper that contained a picture of a firefighter in his uniform, covered in white ash and was wearing a self-contained breathing apparatus over his face. He is helping people is business wear, who are also covered in white ash, out of a burning skyscraper building. The edges on the left side of the paper are tattered up as if it was ripped from a magazine. The caption reads: Hero firefighter saves citizens out of the South Tower prior to its collapse.

He was a great guy. A true warrior. Even after saving some people out of that damn inferno. He still went back in to find if any others were left behind. It didn’t surprise me to hear that he did that. Even in our brigade he was the most daring son of a bitch, I’ll tell ya. I looked up to him and I still do, the Army vet said as he started to tear up, but he goes on, That’s why I had to visit his memorial. I heard they never found his body, but when they were scavenging through the twisted metal and concrete debris, they found a firefighter’s helmet and uniform that was numbered 77…just like in dem photo right there.

In a moment of frustration, he swiftly grabbed the paper out of Jimmy’s hand and stuffed it back into his breast pocket and said, It’s darn funny how he did four tours outta Vietnam, survived leading a group of young men in a jungle, to only years later get killed at home by terrorists. The Army vet scoffs at

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