Thursday, September 18, 2008

"Nothing," Joe replied, "that cop just shot the bus driver,"

Gordon's eyes went wide and he plastered his face against the window, "And I missed it?"

Joe sighed.

"Well it is the American dream, iddn't? To be gunned down in public, I mean? I think I'd like to get shot once or twice," Gordon said.

"You should visit L.A.," said the elderly man next to Joe, "I've shot a fair number of people there during the War of Angels. Best goddamn fighter ace the west coast had ever seen. I--"

"Shut the fuck up," Joe snapped. The man grumbled something about horses and glared at Joe. "Are you, per chance, suicidal Gordon?"

He shook his head and screwed his face up with concentration.

It isn't that I'm suicidal or anything. At least, I'm not interested in killing myself. That is for crazy people to do with themselves. But it is a past time here, being shot. In every John Wayne movie the Duke is either shot, shot at or shoots someone else. Clint Eastwood, the same. Stallone, the same. Bloody fucking everybody has either been shot, shot at or shot someone besides me. I've drank with cowboys and pissed on library stoops with the teeming masses. Since coming to visit you mates I've seen women satisfy fetishes I cannot even begin to describe and shot whiskey with bearded bikers. I've played chess with old men whose grandchildren sell pot only a few feet away. I've visited memorials, museums, churches, circus tents and colleges that I never would have seen back home. I just think that the one thing I'm missing in all this, the one thing I won't be able to go home without, is a little gun violence. Just a little shooting, even if I'm the one who gets shot. Is it really so much to ask in a place where there are so many guns to not miss out on what happened tonight? I really wish you would have woken me up to see that. I think that maybe it was my only opportunity to put a real capstone on my trip here. I'm really worried that now I'll go back to England only three-quarters done. Without it, maybe I just should never have come at all.

Gordon stared longingly out the window and Joe tried not to look at anything at all.

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