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Walls Doyle Wesley Walls If You're Hungry, that's a Good Sign If you're my boy and you order a hamburger a whole one and you not only eat it but you eat several of my onion rings and then ask for the last few bites of my hamburger too then that's a good sign. If you're a big mean-and-nasty linebacker with a name like Huff or Butkus or if you're a juicy young cheerleader just filled to bursting with the honeyed meat and a good combination eye-bat and shoulder-dip move and you want to wrap your arms around the quarterback then that's a good sign. If you write your name really big on a Declaration of Independence then that's a good sign. If you decide at that point to go west young man when everything you read is like the finger pointing the way for you to your manifest destiny then that's a good sign. If you grow up wanting to be a cowboy like in the movies and already have plenty ofdead Indians to your name when you learn there are papers across the Red River which prove your Grandmother was part Choctaw and you in turn are part Choctaw too... Stop. If you stop thinking about your family so much and decide to get away because the world is much bigger than just your family and go to a festival of short French films and see Truffaut's handling of Bernadette Lafont in Les Misions and you want her in addition to your own wife because no woman has ever moved with a sexier lyricism while playing tennis so you applaud with the audience all of you hungry for more Bernadette but you're served up Georges Franju's Le Sang des Betes which the projectionist says takes place in a slaughterhouse and is only twenty minutes long but you can't stay for even five because you think you'll be sick so you leave after a few minutes of wincing of glancing from the screen to the floor to the screen and then to the hat in your hands feeling ashamed and weak because you're a meat-eater and you couldn't even watch a film of several men doing the dirty work for you the way they've done it for you all your life and they had to begin with a white horse a creature you think is noble too noble to be stunned to its knees so that someone might 6 the minnesota review work on it to open the steaming mass of liquid life from its body so you could play baseball with the regulation horsehide in your American Legion where you know you can't return so you go home and sleep then wake and see that the gentlest of all women on earth has left out on the white kitchen counter some red meat to thaw and your sickness makes you so sad you decide to change your life before it's too late so you can be something more pure more clean but you've decided you'd better make yourself eat the lean white body of a bird in a sandwich by four that afternoon and then you've made it to enchiladas that evening though you're full and you're teaching your only begotten son who loves animals to do the same thing and ordering him not to ask questions about where the meat comes from during supper while you're eating it and watching Nature on TV rooting for the seals to escape the hunters and something inside you is churning and it may be the meat you are eating or it may be something you've been fed these many years and you know it would be so much easier if you could only just buy everything the way it's packaged and not look at it or think about things like the catgut in Bernadette's tennis racket or your own desire to taste Bernadette's calves as you slit your own throat with your fingernail as a sign...


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