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Mort and Nick
Mort and Nicholas Galli

On Mort

By Nicholas Galli (Mort's stepson)

Through my 5 year old eyes, Mort was a mountain of a man, a behemoth who would squeeze through door-jams, a hulking mass of muscle with black and white fur brought home one day by my mother. It was no mistake that his animal totem was the bear. Who was this strange beast my mother had brought home full of new sounds and smells? I knew I was afraid of this stranger standing before me thick as a tree trunk. At night when I slept, a rumbling snore would echo through the house, filling my dreams with images of horned beasts with claws and furry pelts. It wasn't until much later, that I had looked into Mort's soft blue eyes and had seen a man looking back at me. It was those same blue eyes that one day began to well with such emotion that it became apparent to me that he was no ordinary man, but rather a living conduit for the human experience. He was a man who felt deeply and experienced emotions on his own terms. The contrast between the hulking figure I had met as a child, and the heart of the man I would later share many tender moments with, taught me that things are not always what they seem, and that life is not about certainties, but rather rich contradictions and complexities. Mort will always be my beast—not the beast that frightens me in the middle of the night, but the beast that keeps me warm and safe in the den of his heart.


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