"Guns make us powerful; butter will only make us fat."
- Nazi Hermann Goering
You walk into a crowded
mall one afternoon and
you just can't decide who
What a dilemma.
You went to
all this trouble of buying an assault
weapon, fully automatic with a generous-sized
magazine, even spent hours at the firing range getting used
to the heft and the kick of your .32 caliber friend,
and now your mind is wracked with uncertainty and doubt. Every
face you look at reminds you of people
you know and love but not the ones who
really deserve the liberal application of a little hot, fiery
wisdom. You're mostly annoyed because the ones you really
need to be scaring the piss out of right
talking about you, laughing at you. But security is
too tight there. And so the mall.
Oh, well... sacrifices have to be made,
you remind yourself for the fortieth time since you got
off the bus.
You stand at the foot of the escalator, the gun wrapped
in newspaper in the Macy's shopping bag nestled between
your Crocs. Mentally you're unwrapping it, casting aside
the sports section, the style section, comics section. You
can feel the heft of it in your hands, smell the
lubricating oil, hear the snik of the cartridge as it snaps
into the chamber, see the look of surprise on the faces
of shoppers as you slowly, carefully draw a bead.
What? What was...?
Oh, god! The voices again. They come when
the money is all gone, which means the medicine
is all gone, too. The sound is like riding an elevator full
of people only there's no people in this elevator. Just you.
they're quiet, breathy whispers keeping you awake at night,
reminding you of things you forgot to do, or never will.
they're loud, insistent, like now. They're not
It's the voices that got you this far, that convinced you
to teach these bastards a lesson, but you're not sure anymore.
It's not at all like they promised. They were wrong.
Indecision locks your muscles and you stand there for
what seems like hours, sweat cascading down your back and
past the crack of your ass and down into your groin before
being wicked away by the fruit of a Chinese loom.
your shoulder, startling you. A face appears, a question
asked. Do you need help, son? Son? You say no. No, I'm fine
at your feet. In the sack the butt of the gun has ripped
through the newspaper, splitting Mark Trail neatly in two.
Yet he keeps smiling. You smile back. You like Mark Trail.
That's when you notice the quiet has returned. All you hear
are people bustling past, cell phone chatter, babies
announcements over the PA. But no voices.
Today is clearly not the day. No, not today. Not here.
You pick up your bag and totter towards the exit. The door
opens and a rush of cool, conditioned air momentarily battles
against a blast of summer heat. Still holding the
door a man brushes past you. He has a far-away look in his
a Macy's bag in his hand and is sporting a really good looking
pair of Crocs.
Time to go.