A Christmas Trilogy

Feeling The Guilt

Dec 23, 2006

I feel guilty sometimes, because I missed the war in Vietnam: The War of my life. My dad served five years in World War II. That was his war and my uncle’s war as well. My other uncle served in the Middle East in the 1950’s. I never “served my country.” I took my physical at 18 years old and flunked. “Sorry kid, I have to flunk you. Your eyes are so bad, if you lose your glasses, you’ll be a dead duck,” he said. “You’re 4 F.” I asked to have it changed to “1-Y.” Years later, when it was too late, they changed me to “2-Y,” whatever that means.

I didn’t serve in the Peace Corps either, while so many others did. I went into teaching school and later into medicine, probably helped many people, but I still feel guilty, sometimes. More than that, I feel that, in a way, I failed manhood- never “killed the terrible enemy,” never faced combat except reluctantly defending myself or another from a bully, never suffered more than a punch in the nose or a concussion. I’ve never shot an animal or a lawyer.

I wonder, sometimes, would I feel more like a man if I could send young men and women into another war, call it my war? Could I steal a small ray of light from each young life, from each young, bright spirit that I sacrifice and light my own inner fire???

Allen Finkelstein D.O.


The Measure of a Man

Dec. 24, 2006

He so yearns to be great.

To be more than a small footnote in history.

He yearns so, to be greater than was his father, who would not “go the distance” or “stay the course,” who still sees things in nuances and shades of gray.

His father, who the son feels did not “dare to be great…,”

A man of measure and patience will be great.

History will make him great, while his son tries to make great history, and fails so miserably as all those other lesser lights did before him.

Allen Finkelstein, D.O.


The Battle of the Bulge

Dec. 24, 2006

Two aging men, their “essence” drying and failing them can feel, again, that essence “growing inside of them.” They can feel the hardness, the strength, the juices flowing, the inspiration of lost youth, the feeling, filling their hearts, their “souls,” their “being,” their pants- the bulge, as they send other people’s children off to the Holy Wars- to kill the “Islamic Fascists.”

The irony of it all!, that one cc of testosterone given intramuscularly each month could have saved the lives of 3000 innocent Americans and some 300,000 innocent Iraqis, not to mention hundreds of billions of dollars. To “quote” Shakespeare, “My kingdom for a shot of testosterone!”

Allen Finkelstein, D.O.