The first thing I knew about my uncle Jim was that he was a scary bastard. Or rather, not him, but the hand tinted picture of him that sat on the fireplace in *my* bedroom when I was a child. Smart black uniform, cute smile, pencil thin, Errol Flynn moustache. He clearly got all the looks whereas my dear old Dad got to be a Harold Lloyd lookalike. Oh, mustn’t forget: eyes that followed you around the room.
That he had been killed was merely the means by which he was inhabiting the photograph and waiting to kill me in my sleep. It took a while to understand, to not only hear the full story, the personal family myth of how we remember him, but to understand. When I found out that he was killed on my birthday I felt doubly obligated, that I need to live two lives or just this one, only a little bit more. Anyway, here he is; drop by and say hello, perhaps find your own, Uncle Jim or Aunt Jenny.