Sunday, January 11, 2015

Excerpt from book 3, end of act 2

We were sitting in my truck, nestled in a low spot at the bottom of a railroad grade, watching the back of a trailer park in the nether region of industrial buildings and extremely low income housing, where Dallas sort of bleeds into Duncanville. Close to the old Frito Lay plant, not terribly far from where what was left of my mother's people lived.
There was a line of tall but scraggly bushes separating the railroad grade from the back of the trailer park. My truck was just tall enough for us to hide right there and scope out the trailer.
There wasn't much to the trailer park. From what I could see it looked mostly empty and dilapidated, long headed toward ruin. The air smelled of lost hope and desperation.
It was the kind of place people stayed when they paid by cash in weekly and monthly increments.
Home only to permanent transience.
The rain had picked up some, but not much. Just a soft, steady beat against the windshield.
It's dark as shit in here.” He held his watch closer to his face. The engine was off, the lights killed by custom installed switch. I checked the Maratac on my wrist, the hands and numbers on it's face a subdued glow.
What are you packing?” I asked.
Monster smiled, picked up his nylon bag off the floor and sat it in his lap. From it he pulled a black Ruger P90 DAO, and then double barrel that had been cut way, way, way down on both ends.
Leave that shit.” I nodded toward the cut down shotgun. It was useless tonight. He looked at me like the thought gave him a bad taste in his mouth, but tossed it and the bag in the floor.
Assuming the intell was good, there were three inside with Chris and Tonya, which gave us a total of five. Not including the guy giving it to us.
His phone beeped in his hand, and he looked at it, touched his finger on the screen to scroll, before handing it to me.
The pictures were dim, taken without a flash. They showed three men lounging in the first room, on sofa and recliner.

I debated heavily what weapons to use. Long years at war, my time on the Task Force and after, had shaped my way of thinking. Very much a man of my generation and work, if I had suppressors available, which I did, my instinct was to use them by default.
The trailer was a 1970's era single wide. It one big open room split into a den and a kitchen/ dining room, and a short, narrow hallway with a tiny bathroom off it before the back bedroom. There would be another, smaller bedroom/ office off the main room, just to the right of the door.
I'd been in and out of more of them than I cared to think about.
The problem was that suppressors gave your enemy leverage to use against you when things got close and wet. There was nothing I had with a suppressor, immediately available,that I wanted to use in those narrow spaces. I'd fought in caves and tunnels and hovels with more room to move.
Actually, looking at the trailer park, it probably wasn't a fair comparison to the caves, tunnels, and hovels.
When we're going to do this, man? What are we waiting on?”
When we go in, I'm going to go fast. I'm going to move straight across the room. Hard. I need you to come in behind me, and peel right. I need you to check that little room at the end? We need to make sure we don't have anyone behind us.”
Now, see, I could brace 'em with the shottie.
No. We need the girl alive.”
Shit. That bitch is a bad guy to me. And you better have your head on straight 'bout that. She done lost her whiteness. She's pure nigger now. Straight up Oak Cliff. Trying to get over on her folks. She's gone worse than your girlfriend ever did.”
I took a deep breath, tried to will away the rage inside.
I knew there was truth in his words.
There were other things as well, but I didn't have time to dwell.
Shit, you the big bag gunfighter, Johnny Reb. You say we don't need the shottie, fine. I'll leave it.” He racked the slide on his Ruger, chambering a round.
Text your guy, tell him walk outside ten minutes from the time he responds to the text.”
I slipped out of the truck and quietly shut the door. The first thing I did was take a piss. I always pissed before an action. Next I opened the rear door, slipped my shirt off and dropped it on seat, and then pulled the heavy armor off the floor, and slid it on over my undershirt.
We might have been going in light and fast, but they still had AK-47s and who knew what else.
I pulled my Browning from it's holster, and exchanged the flush magazine for an extended 20 rounder. I slid it back in it's holster, and checked my blades before softly closing the rear door.
Monster climbed out.
He send the text yet?”
No.”
I'm gonna move up to the bushes, peek thru. When you get the text, come on up. Stay low, whisper.”
Monster didn't say anything, just waved his hand in the air, the big Ruger in it.
I moved up the grade, going lower with each step, so that by the time I came to the edge of the property marked with the bushes I was on a knee.
There was a broken streetlight, illuminating nothing. A narrow, crumbling, potholed blacktop that might have bene poured the year I was born. Maybe. I didn't see cameras, or sentries.
Thankfully, I didn't see any dogs. I hated having to kill guard dogs.
I didn't like it, but it didn't mean I they were or weren't there.
Everything I'd seen, coupled with instinct told me Chris, much like the man he'd been hired to kill, had been given a chance to play at a level out of his league. Being an amateur, he'd tried to get more and more elaborate and just made a bigger and bigger mess.
Now he was on the run, playing it by ear. I doubted this were something he'd set up before hand, properly equipped. This was the lay low of lore.
I heard the beep of monsters phone, and I looked back at him looking at his phone as he stepped toward me.
I moved the bezel on my watch, and finalized the approach in my head.
Monster trudged up the grade behind me, not bothering to stay low.
Single file, stay behind me. We won't to make as small a signature as possible.”
Man, are we gonna get bloody, or what?”
I turned back, and took a deep breath.
I said a prayer to the Old Gods, and then one to the God of my father. I believed in one about as much as the other, bastard though I was.
We moved calmly, but briskly, across the open expanse of the narrow blacktop and used a thick oak behind a wrecked, inhabitable trailer to cover our movement.
We paused at the tree, and I peered around it, looking for trash, fallen limbs, any sort of holes or debris that could trip us or make noise. Cataloging it in my mind, along with the feint light through the door on the side which I noted did not bleed through the dark curtains in the one window that could scope our advance. I moved again, staying within the envelope of shadows provided by the tree and trashed trailer.
At the end of the shadowed wreck, I crouched down and leaned out just far enough to confirm the emptiness, before finishing the last leg of the trip, moving briskly but not fast enough to raise the noise level across a small yard and another crumbling lane of black top.
I crouched at the end of the trailer, and grimaced as Monster fell in behind me with heavy stomping footfalls.
Short minutes dragged slowly past. I checked my watch twice in three minutes, just for something to do.
In books and movies the hero is always fucking perfect, always calm, cool, and collected. Zen'd out and zoned out on his own awesome, too cool to care. In the real world, your mind is in overdrive. Your senses are heightened, some animal part of your brain is collecting every sight, smell, and sound, the taste and color of the fucking air, and processing it at lightning speed. Your intuition is the alarm that goes off when there's something array.
You expect things to go bad, because there's no such thing as a perfect op. It doesn't exist. So when nothing pings you check your watch to measure.
Which is why you never look as cool as they do in the movies.
Inside the trailer dim words were exchanged, and I heard the front door open. I drew my pistol, and held it in tight, at a compressed high ready, left hand on the blade in my belt.
Heavy footfalls toward the cars in the drive way beside us. He was about 16, hard eyed but not nearly as hard as some I'd seen at that age. He walked between the cars and made a show of lighting cigarette. He stopped behind the sedan, the nearest one to us.
So how's this going to work?” He asked in hush, facing away from the front door so that I was looking at his profile.
Anyone in this room right here on the end?”
Naw, man.”
You strapped?”
'Course.” His voice was less than enthusiastic. Traitors very rarely can stand seeing owning themselves.
You finish that cigarette, we're gonna fall in behind you. Once you go thru that door, move hard to the left. I'm going across it. Monster is going right.”
OK, man.” He took a long pull of his cigarette, and blew smoke rings in the air.
Let's get to it.” He tossed the butt on the ground, and turned around.
Monster following I turned the corner, staying low, and moved between the car and trailer, falling in behind the turncoat as he started up the stairs. He opened the door, and stepped left and I rushed thru.
I moved quick and hard and I had I brought the arm holding the gun to full extension as the big man started to rise off the couch.
Stop right there.” I spoke low, held a finger to my mouth. “Do you want to live?” I asked. I could kill them all and sleep soundly, but it'd be faster, easier, and much more quiet if they'd just turn on Chris and give me the girl.
Oh, no, Johnny Reb. No sir. That wasn't the deal at all. They got to die,” Monster Maupin came just behind me, and to the left. His tone was normal, conversational, but there was something wrong.
He's not in his corner.
And then, gunfire.
Pistol shots, to be precise. Screaming between each shot.
I dropped the hammer on the big one and spun, dropping down, and trying to move on the lateral as I did so.
There was someone I didn't recognize, a kid, firing a Tokerev.
Monster's turncoat was falling, a line of bullets stitching his spine.
I snapped thru shots with barely a flash sight picture and the boy's head exploded.
A shotgun erupted from the hallway, and punched Monster hard, his arm and side visibly damaged as he fell.
And then more screaming, and the third guy was on top of my back, and my arm was a strange combination of burning numbness and then I was tasting dirty shag carpet.
I know well how it works. I even kind of love it. It's an addiction like no other. But I don't know if I'll ever get used to being so in tune. I could feel every strand of 40 year old shag carpet on face in the split second it took me to realize my gun was no longer in my hand and didn't have much use of my primary arm and I had an asshole coming down on top of me.
I managed to roll onto my side and get my good arm up and put a boot in his thigh as he came back down with what appeared to be a crow bar. This blow hit my collarbone, but between the heavy armor and the boot to the thigh, I managed to keep from it from doing any real damage, though it hurt like a motherfucker.
I managed to grab the crowbar before he could re-cock it, and pulled him closer, bringing him into a headbutt, and then another. I saw stars with the second one, but they were dim and I could feel his enthusiasm for the endeavor wane.
I pulled the Boker Tuff from my belt, and buried it as deep as it would go into his sub-clavicle.
Blood sprayed like a lawn sprinkler on the back spring, and I pushed his dying body away from me.
There was a moment, then.
A long, slow, meandering moment.
Tonya was standing just inside the kitchen, a cut down shotgun in her hands.
Monster Maupin was leaning against the wall, his right arm limp, useless, blood pouring from the side of his chest as if it were a quickly filling spring.
Tonya stood there, mouth open as she tried to breath, her eyes filling with wet as she took her new understanding. The room itself, that old familiar Pollack of red and black death tones, each of us included. Her hands, holding the shotgun, a little more loose each micro-moment.
I picked up my pistol with my weak hand.
Drop it, Tonya.” I told her. She looked at me. “Please.” It clattered on the floor.
Man, fuck this bitch!” Monster brought his left hand up, a second pistol, a small revolver, in his hand.
I put the front sight on his ear and fired twice.
Monster fell, streaking blood down the wall as he did so.
I stood.
Tonya was staring at me when Chris emerged, wrapping an arm around Tonya's head and pulling her close.
He sneered at me as I shifted, arm out at full extension, gun canted slightly for better visual reference with my right eye since I was firing with my non dominant hand. He sneered at me as I lined everything up.
He opened his mouth to speak.
I shot him twice, fast. The bullets punched through his upper lip at the bottom of his ocular cavity.
He dropped, Tonya scrambling as he fell away.
She stared at him a second, and then turned around the room, taking it all in again before her eyes settled on me. There was a chaos of emotion in here eyes, but the overriding one was fear. Fear of me.
I set the safety and slipped the gun beneath my belt.
Tonya, we need to go. Now. I need to take you home.”
You're not gonna hurt me?” she asked, meekly.
No.”
But-”
We're figure out what to tell your mother on the way. We need to go. Now.”
I need to get my purse.”
Please do. Phone and wallet, to.”
I watched her step around dead bodies as I moved the arm, feeling the dull, burning ache spread. Nothing felt torn or ruptured, but I'd still need to get it check out.
A second later she came out of the hallway, stuffing her wallet and thin cell phone into her purse.
You're do gonna exactly what I say, and not give me any trouble?”
Yes, sir.”
Good.”
You're really not gonna tell my momma?”
Not if you hold up your end and do what I say, no.”
OK.”

And then we left.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

My Ever Evolving Spirituality, Today

If nothing else, being agnostic means being open. There was a period of my life when I was probably too open, and that opened the door to darkness that will always be there, at least in part. But I'm learning to be more open to other things, good things, positive things.

I tell my intellectual friends I've started praying, they look at me like maybe I'm an imposter. It doesn't matter how long I considered prayer and meditation the same thing, or the view I held for so long that, since, if there was a God, and he was omnipotent, and that prayer was essentially a conversation with God, because of his omnipotence, then every thought and conversation you have throughout the day is, technically, a conversation with God. And when I tell them, not only am I praying, but that it seems to work marvelously. That not only are several things finally seeming to come to fruition, but I feel better, lighter, happier, that my various and sundry addictions are, seemingly, non existent, they shake their heads. That the voices in my head, the shadows moving within shadows at night, the chills and bad feelings and dreams I won't talk about, these things are the products of a vivid imagination, long term depression, alcoholism, self loathing, angst over obesity and a lifelong obsession with violence. Manifestations of my subconscious trying to figure out how to unfuck itself. That if there is anything to it, it's psychosomatic. All the little ubermensch motherfuckers that are confident they know everything. In so many ways, in their utter certainty, they share more in common with those I normally call 'Bible Nazis' than not.

The only thing I know for sure is that I don't know. I am profoundly uncertain. I still doubt very seriously I'll ever again call myself a Christian. There are still, and always will be more about it, or at least what is taught, that I can say, without a doubt, that I don't believe in, that I refuse to believe, that I will fight tooth and nail against, than otherwise. People who take the Bible word for word still baffle me.

But it is insane, and perhaps a bit ridiculous, to invest so much in believing in man's fallibility, in the dark nature of the world, to not put just as much into the positive. To be an otherwise good person consumed by the darkness, shirking from the light of the world.

So, here I am.
Praying.
Often multiple times a day.
But most especially, before bed.
And I'm getting the best sleep I've ever gotten in my entire life.



Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Matrix Re-Evaluation

I was recently asked to help one of my mom's besties, my "Other Mother," find a gun suitable to her for self defense. She has little to no experience with guns, and except for me taking her out to shoot whatever I find for her, she's probably never going to shoot it again, unless, Gods forbid, she has to defend herself with it. It may get carried in the car- occasionally, but mostly it will probably be for home defense.

 I'm looking to get her into a budget .38. Scouring the used market so we can afford some lasergrips to go with it. I feel this should meet her needs, given she has no history of shooting, and is not going to invest herself in the lifestyle or hobby of training, rather nicely.

I keep finding people who lament putting new shooters into revolvers. They cry about this being some thoughtless, antiquated technique with old technology. The tone I hear from some of these people, certain "instructors" in particular, is rather troublesome. The idea that anyone who doesn't have an interest in making training a part of their life doesn't deserve their life, I find distasteful, to say the least. I suspect their own financial remuneration, vindication, and insane narcissism are the real culprits here.

By far and away the biggest malfunction issue I saw was limp-wristing. With untrained women shooters, this x infinity. I'm exponentially more worried about bad things happening because the gun jams than I am her running out of ammo and needing to speed reload.I keep hearing people complain about revolvers and how semi-autos are always superior. I think an awful lot of motherfuckers need to re-evaluate their threat assessment, mission statement, and equipment matrix.

What are the most likely threats to this person?
What are their needs and capabilities?

We're not storming fucking Fallujah.
Training does not automatically equate mindset. It also doesn't even always equate skill. I can think of a couple of well known trainers and in some cases their acolytes, or franchisees, who I want abso-fucking-lutely nothing to do with.
On personal, moral, and tactical bases.
I'm not going to name names, engage in that sort of thing, but I hate these people and everyone like them.
Deep down in the bone, soul saturating hate.
You can starch your 5.11's, and bluster and condescend to everyone less ninja than you, but none of these things actually mean you have skill, common sense, or balls.

I would rather spend my time teaching old widows and single mothers how to use tools they can actually manipulate than I would get rich stroking the egos of tiny dicked, macho douchefucks who wear stupid clothes.
Fuck you.
I hate you.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Dear Tactical Ninja Douchefuck,

If you're going to put yourself out there as a weapons expert, quantifiable expertise in weapons is an important consideration. If you're going to put yourself out there as a expert in combat, quantifiable expertise in combat, might also be important.

You don't have to be a veteran to teach or share opinions on the mechanics of running a gun. That shouldn't have to be said.
But if you're going to talk specifically about violence and combat, then candor, decency, and knowing when not to run your brash, illiterate cumguzzler are all things a decent human being would take into consideration. If you're going to use the tool box analogy, it helps to have a solid working knowledge of the tools themselves, and what each one is for.
If you ridicule people for the pocket gun they will EDC, instead of the Tactical Ninja Douchefuck 9000 back home in the safe, instead of making sure they know how to use the gun they'll actually have with them when they need it, you are wrong.
No, don't say it.
Shut up.
Stop it.
You are wrong.
We're not assaulting fucking Fallujah.
I don't have belt feds, air support, and a radio.
 I'm as upset about this as anyone, but that's just the way it is.
You don't like my pearl grips on my nickeled snubbie?
I don't give a fuck.
 If you haven't at least been where I've been, seen and done and lived through the things I have, then your opinion on the gun I choose for self defense is literally not worth knowing.
If I catch you ridiculing people who want to learn, instead of imparting sound knowledge that is useful to them, I will call you out on it. If you force my hand, I will be rude about it.
I hate bullies.
More than anything on this planet.
To put oneself in a position of mentor and authority and to abuse that is unthinkable and unforgivable.
I don't care if you're trying to make money.
I don't care if you're trying to set a certain tone or make a certain brand.
I give not a single solitary fuck.







Thursday, June 13, 2013

Almost Middle Aged

Yesterday I turned 34.
I fucking hate it.
Not the raw number, so much. I long ago stopped giving a fuck about that. At least I tell myself that.
But the fact that, in my eyes, I don't have a whole lot to show for it.
I have a couple of books not very many people have read, obesity, a fucked up back, knees, and ankles, and intermittent alcoholism.
I take care of my grandmother, but really, I don't do much. I make sure she gets her meds, feed her, and try to keep her company.
Her dementia is getting worse and worse.
Most of the time, I'm not sure she knows exactly who I am, she's running on instinct and the fact that I'm always here.
I ask her who I am, and she'll tell me her nephew. Or her neighbor. Or whoever.
She may or may not remember my name.
At her worst, she's borderline violent. She has slapped me, and hit me with her cane. She had a grand time one afternoon stomping on my feet.
Usually I know this is coming, because it's after long hours of verbal abuse, argument, and crying.

Why am I doing this to her?
Why won't I let her go home?
Who the hell do I think I am?

And when she's lucid, it's worse, because we both know just how far she's gone.
And then we're crying, and she's apologizing, and insistent that I shouldn't be the one carrying this weight.
And what do you say to that?

While my family is not as close as we once were, things could be a lot worse.
Everyone is just busy with their lives, with their work.
And I volunteered for this.
So I can't cry about it.
But I'm going slightly nuts.
I had a daydream, not long ago, where I had a nervous breakdown.
I dreamed I snapped, went outside, and fell to my knees in the front yard wailing away.
Full on Russell Crowe, spittle flying, Gladiator breakdown mode.
When I woke up in my recliner, it took a few seconds for me to remember where I was.
My grandmother was sitting in her chair, crying, asking me over and over again to open the door so she could go home.

Honestly, I'm about as far gone as I can remember being since I came out of the worst of my depression.
I'm not suicidal.
I'd really like to think I'll never get as close to that edge as I once did, ever again.

But, I'm going slightly nuts.
Just fucking batshit.

The truth is, the inside of my head is already a macabre tapestry of self loathing and hatred.
In my head, no one actually respects me. In my head, the concept of that is insane. In my head, the best I can think of myself is that people either feel sorry for me, or see an opportunity to use me for something.
Whether or not this is true, it's what I fight. Everyday.
On one hand, I'm trying so hard to get my shit together.
Trying to start a business teaching gun stuff, trying to get book two finished, and fully realized, hoping I can get some traction with it. Trying to figure out a plan of action for the websites and blogs, and the blog/ e-zine I'm going to try to do with some friends. The youtube channel to go with it.
And so much of it right now is just spinning my wheels.
Because I have to rely on other people. Proofers and editors, bureaucrats, family members, possible writing and business partners.
Because the only income I have coming in is disability from the VA, I've got to be careful. I wanted to have hung my shingle by now, so income from teaching CHL and basic marksmanship could be put back in the business. I could use it to take more classes, which would go in the blog/ ezine/ youtube/ whatever, while learning more and further developing martial skills.
But right now it's just one more thing that should be that isn't.
And what I want more than anything, what I need to do before I can fully realize that, is reclaim some sort of physical fitness.
At the very least, I need to get much further toward that goal than I am now.
If for no other reason than my mental health.
I'm 34, and still fat.
Every time I've started to make some real headway, I've found some excuse to let the doubt and self loathing take over.
The Army shit still creeps up sometimes.
Not war stuff, but Germany shit. Fucked up spine and people thinking I was faking shit.
Father shit, holy fuck, do I have some daddy issues. I don't really know why. We had our differences, we had our issues, we nearly came to blows a couple of times, but it was never really movie of the week shit. We were always close.
And fuck, broken heart shit still comes back.
Why I should give thoughts of a woman who doesn't love me, and for all I know never really did any of my time is absolutely beyond me.
I go months without thinking about her and what we had, at least what I thought we had, not giving two fucks, and then bam. I'm a wretched mess.
I don't know why I carry this bullshit with me, but I do.
All my faults and failures.
And I don't know if writing about it helps.
I thought I did at one time.
Now, now I'm not so sure.
No doubt there will be people who read this and send me messages of support.
Which I will answer politefully.
But this isn't a cry for help.
I don't want an intervention.
I'm thinking very seriously about my online presence.
What I put out there, and how much.
If it helps or hurts.
Both professionally and personally.
We become who we train ourselves to be.
I need to unfuck myself.













Tuesday, June 11, 2013

What Is Love, Baby Don't Hurt Me/ My Happy Fat Caveat

Being fat is a miserable existence marked largely by self loathing, depression, and binging. As much as I despise the blustering bullshit of the tough love types, I dislike the sugary feel good coos of the love yourself anyway crowd. Despite whatever shallow pretense they may offer of accountability, that never really feels sincere to me.
Maybe they're just more worried about the mental health aspect, which, believe me, I'm sensitive to. I just see them both as one more example of the childish, bipolar nature of modern America.
The entire matrix of the dynamic is all fucked up, insane, and psychotic. On one hand, you have people who don't believe you can be honest without being a giant, raging dick, and on the other, you have people using what they think of as positive reinforcement for negative reinforcement, by making it easier for people to not hold themselves accountable.
Love yourself.
You deserve to love yourself.
 Respect yourself.
You deserve to respect yourself.
Well, fucking why?
 That shit is earned. If you don't respect yourself, start earning it.
As far as loving yourself, color me an asshole, but I've never understood what the fuck that means.
I'm positive my perspective is horribly skewed due to the years of heavy depression and self loathing, but this is still a serious question.
What does loving yourself mean?
What if you don't deserve to love yourself?
Why wouldn't someone deserve to love themselves?
Fuck if I know, that's not for me to decide.
Maybe, like respect, love has to be earned as well.
And if you're going to attempt to help someone, stop and ask yourself if what you're really doing is stroking your ego. In fact, I'd go even further and say that both tacts are mostly the stroking of ego. Either you're beating your dick at the thought of how awesome, tough, and Alpha you were putting that fattie in their place, or you're stroking your dick over how awesome, sensitive, and Beta/ Alpha (yes, because real men are sensitive and don't feel the need to be retro and dominant) funny how men can never escape their inner ubermensch, ain't it?
Furthermore, I'll say it perpetuates some bullshit myths people should probably get over. Some simple economics might be involved, so I'll probably get burned at the stake for mentioning them.

Without a doubt, physical attraction is hugely important.
I'm not saying big girls can't be beautiful and sexy, because they can. But they're going to have to bring something to the table if they're lacking in the physical beauty department. Intelligence, charm, humor, a giant trust fund, epic tits, these are all things other than physical beauty that can make one beautiful. All these things are net pluses, and they all work for men as well as women (save maybe the epic tits).

What I'm saying is, we've all seen physically stunning people with mates who should, by all accounts, be nowhere near their league. And they're there because whatever deficit they had in the looks department, they made up for elsewhere.

Which brings us to confidence.
Confidence is important. Everyone knows this. We're told it constantly. We're told how important an ingredient it is in attraction.
How does one gain confidence?
Does one gain confidence through self respect, or through the shallow nurturing of false self esteem?
How does one get to fuck the homecoming queen?
By working hard and busting ass and knocking player's dicks in the dirt and winning the big game?
Or by hoisting the trophy he got for simply participating?

I know, by now you assume I'm just some angry, fat, rambling asshole. And you're probably right.

BUT DO YOU SEE WHERE THE FUCK I'M GOING WITH THIS?

Embrace love. Zen up. Carry a gun.


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Dreamscape, Leaving Dallas With My Brother

Insane, trippy, drunken, redneck gun nut dream - I dream I'm in the bedroom in the house I grew up in. My father is there, sitting in his underwear, like usual, at my desk. The room is filled with smoke. We're talking about something. My mom comes in with her book club, and they sit around the coffee table, either in chairs that materialize or on the big, blue comfy couch we had growing up, of dark blue number in Cape Cod plaid. They start giving me a hard time about when the next book is going to be out. My mom starts bitching at my dad about smoking. He starts bitching at me about my weight. I start bitching back about that time he bitched at me for losing weight, because high school football was so important. Shit gets real. My mom and her friends fade away. My dad comes back in the room, and tells me a secret to getting away with smoking in the house without catching a bitch for it. He stands beside my bed, and reaches to adjust the vent on the wall. I remember this guy has been dead for years. I reach out to touch him. He scowls and fades away.

Flash to my pickup. My brother and I are driving on east Loop 12 Ledbetter Dr. I think we're headed to back to East Texas from grandma's house, as that's the only thing I can think of. It's one of the routes we used to take when we lived with her and worked in the city, but would go home on weekends.

Only it's real time, not the summer of '99, and we're talking real shit. We're talking about his marriage and my move back to Athens and how I hope my fatass finally gets my shit together. Like I said, real talk.

We come to a roadblock, warning signs and flashing lights. There's a sign that says "VIOLENCE", only it's misspelled. We laugh, joking about only in Dallas would they cordon an area off and let the gangsters inside finish each other off. We follow the detour around. At some point, a car starts following us. It is a 70 Camaro, in Bondo gray, with  blue ground effects and interior light. There is carpet on the dash, and a Crown air freshener, and beads hanging off the rearview mirror. It looks like a taxi in the Middle East.

My brother points to a dirt road into some woods. We take it, thinking we'll leave the Camaro in the dust. We have fun, driving through the woods like we did when we were kids. Bouncing  around, crashing through the brush. The Camaro catches up. I have a Kahr K9 on my belt, and a spare mag in my pocket next to my .380. I pull the .30-.30 Marlin from behind the seat, and pistol bag with the Glock and the spare ammo.

The dirt road takes us to some nice homes, hidden alongside a river or elongated lake/ pond. I'm pushing the truck too hard, and I have to hit the brakes and make a hard turn as we come to a small cul-de-sac at the end. We laugh like maniacs. The Camaro is nowhere to be scene. We drive back down the dirt road celebrating our victory.

Our victory is short lived.
The truck runs out of gas.
We debate what to do.

The Bondo gray '79 Camaro pulls to a stop up the hill, revving its engine.

My brother jumps out of the truck with the .30-.30, and I grab the Glock, with it's extended mag, and the ammo bag, and take position behind the engine. My brother is out front, ready to meet them. Strong and brave and ignorant of combat. I yell at him to get behind the engine block with me, but he doesn't hear me. I "Martin Riggs" the Glock on the hood of the truck, and make eye contact with the driver of the Camaro. He makes the wrong move, I'm filling his face full of 147 grain hollow pointed BBs.

 Straight up.
No fucking about.
The Camaro backs away.

We can still hear it though, rumbling through the trees.
My brother takes off, into the woods.
I follow, moving slowly. Hindered by disability and obesity.
Out of nowhere, Murphy shows up.
There's gunfire, and then my brother comes back through the woods, the rifle smoking in his hands.
We don't say anything.
There's a some gas in a can in the back of the truck, left over from mowing the yard, and I put what's left in the tank.

The next thing I know, we're at gas station, on the edge of the city.
Still headed home.
I set the pump, and look in the can at the Murph Monster cuddled up with my brother, who still isn't speaking. His eyes are watery, but he's stoic.

A kid, about 13, walks up. Baggy clothes, gang colors, etc. Wants some money. I don't have any money.
We do the MUC (Managing Unknown Contacts) dance.

He pulls a gun, a cheap High Point, and sticks it in my face. Gunfire erupts from a nearby nightclub, and I bash him with a coin sap.

There are different versions of what happens next. I was already replaying the scenes and doing AARs of them before I realized I was dreaming.

Version One, we haul ass out of there. The cops get my fingerprint off a .30-.30 shell, and I take the fall for my brother.

Version Two, the Camaro shows back up as I replace the pump and start to get back behind the wheel. People file out of it, with guns. We open up on them from the truck, just hose them down, and haul ass the fuck out of town.

Version Three, I replace the pump, and when I go to climb in the truck, my brother is dead. A hole in the head from the gunfire from the nearby club. A victim of random violence.


Sometimes our dreams tell us things. Sometimes they don't mean shit. I don't know which category this falls into. All I know, is I have a wicked, pneumonitic cough, despite the fact that I haven't smoked in over 2.5 years, and am going to unload all of my guns and wipe each bullet free of fingerprints. Just in case. No shit.