From writing workshop this afternoon…

The .357 magnum was my favorite. I lost it in the divorce. I kept the .38 snub nosed with 5 shots. If you don’t take the thug down with the first four shots to the trunk, you best gamble on a head shot with the fifth. That’s the rule. I keep the revolver in a wooden box that says, “Holy Bible” on the front and has a picture of Jesus with outstretched arms on the box’s interior next to the gun.

I miss John A., May-May, and Larry Mac. They are the only dead people I miss. I look in my viewer at John A. sometimes and beg him to come back and save me. The viewer is an ancient bit of brown rectangular plastic made in the 60’s. You hold it up to a lamp, and John A. lights up with a smile and a head full of Brille Crème slicked white hair. It was his 16 gauge I was really addicted to. He shot the 12, me – the 16.

I saw an old man drinking fluorescent blue liquid from a paper bag clad plastic bottle on the bus. It wasn’t the kind of fluid you drink. It was the kind you pour in a car’s radiator. He sipped it from a straw.

John A. drank Jack Black, two fingers tall in a glass with a half glass water chaser. At Christmas I bar tended until he was drunk, then Dad cut off service.

When John A. died, they wired his jaw shut in an under bite mannequin sort of way. His nephew, Johnny, got drunk at the service, falling on my aunt. Ungracious is the word I would like to use. My brother was so mad he threw Johnny to the ground, and afterward drove him home, popping him in the face for good measure. Only my brother and I understood the appropriateness of the beating.


5 Responses to “Bang”

  1. I really enjoyed this. Particularly ” a picture of Jesus with outstretched arms on the box’s interior next to the gun.” That was excelent.

  2. Thanks. I got the box at a second hand store and I thought – how perfect.

  3. A gun story… I got one.

    When I went to Nevada to see my long lost Aunt I took a photograph I had of my great-great-grandfather (my Aunt’s maternal grandfather). I’ve had the picture since my father died, he got it when him mother died, anyway, I’ve had the picture a long time, but had no idea what his name was or any background about his life.

    I questioned my Aunt and discovered that his name was Jose, that he was short in stature but was considered very good looking, he was a snappy dresser, he drank, and when he drank we liked the ladies — a lot. He and my great-great-grandmother were New Mexico sheep ranchers, well she actually ran the ranch, he wasn’t cut out to be a rancher, he was more of a ladies man. He like to dance, sing, drink, and see to the needs of the soiled doves in the local cantina.

    My Aunt also told me that my great-great-grandma packed a 45 everywhere she went. Mostly to keep the varmints away from the sheep, but also to keep Jose in line.

    One day Jose brought home a young woman and told great-great-grandma that she was the new ranch employee that was going to make great-great-grandma’s life easier by doing all the housework and cooking. The next morning great-great-grandma walked into the kitchen to find Jose and the young woman drinking coffee out of the same cup at the kitchen table. She quickly whipped out the ol’ 45 and starting shooting in the general direction of great-great-grandpa and the new cook/housekeeper. Needless to say the girl left the ranch in a hurry, and Jose started fast talking his way back into great-great-grandma’s heart.

    At the end of the tale, I picked up my purse and showed my aunt the hidden holster for my 45. She looked at me and smiled and said “apples never fall far from the tree.”

    Family, even the ones you don’t know are more like you than you’d like to admit.

    • That is so hilarious. I love this great-great-grandma. And I’ve never seen a purse with a hidden holster. I am so envious. Carrying concealed is legal in AZ and not too hard to get. It’s impossible here.

  4. Interesting story.

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