My mailman carries a .38 caliber revolver in a butter-leather holster on his shoulder.
My next-door neighbor wears a Mossberg 12-guage pump-action shotgun from a strap around his back.
This girl I know carries a carbon-black 9 millimeter pistol with hair triggers, lazer sights, and custom grips in her handbag.
They don’t think I can see them, but I can see them.
I have fucking X-Ray vision.
I was waiting in line at the grocery store today between a retired farmer with a Remington 700 bolt action rifle clutched under his arm and a young hairdresser with a Walther PPK tucked into the top of her boot. I browsed the covers of magazines and tabloids featuring all manner of heavily-armed celebrities and public figures. Brad Pitt cradling a .50 caliber heavy machine gun on vacation in the South of France. Jay and Beyonce holding matching Desert Eagles while their other hands held eachothers.
If you ask them about it they won’t say anything. But it’s an unwritten rule.
Everyone carries their weapon. Everywhere.
I never seem to have my gun with me. I can’t even remember what the damn thing looks like. Maybe I lost it, or maybe I threw it away, or maybe I never even had one to begin with. When you don’t have your weapon you have to walk like no one else has X-Ray vision. You can’t let anyone else know how defenceless you are. Every time you do, you die, and every time you die, it hurts.
And it’s hard when you keep seeing polished steel and smelling gunpowder every time you turn around.
And it’s hard to shake hands with armed bandits and smile at gunmetal.
But a crazy thing happened to me.
I was at a little dingy corner bar, and through all the AK-47s and the Armalites and all the Kel-Tec’s and the Hekkler’s, X-Ray vision and all, I saw a middle-aged man sitting in the corner booth, grey flecks in his hair, without a weapon anywhere to be seen.
I had to do a double-take.
I had to do a triple-take.
I had to drink my double to get up the courage to go and speak to him.
Then I had to drink another.
Then I had to ask him. I had to find out.
And he said: “Oh that old thing? Hell, I got rid of it. No one ever hurts anyone but themselves with those things anyhow.”