Why I Don’t Carry a Gun

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There are nights, this is one of them, when the rage wells up inside me and I want to kill something.

Why?

Well, it’s a kind of architecture of anger, building like a pile of stones.

Yesterday, we had a tire blow-out– that’s just a “thing”– but we waited 95 minutes on the side of the freeway for the AAA guy to arrive. From Bates’ Garage, and I will tell you they’re no better at automotive service then they are at running motels. He was obviously p.o.’d at being taken away from his football game to change the tire on a Mercedes Benz. (It’s an 11-year-old Mercedes, and bought second-hand, but people have their prejudices.)

I have a lot of my plate right now, and I am bad at saying no. So I have agreed to do things when there are already not enough hours in the day. People send me little reminders, I get that. I’ll get to your fucking project when I have a fucking minute.  That counts for at least three stones on the pile.

Today finally, it grew clear that a friend has disappointed me in a way that I will never get over. I have seen a truth about this person that I find difficult to reconcile with what I thought I knew about them. I’ve made excuses for their particular selfishness for years now, but finally I’ve run out of excuses. That’s only one stone, but it’s a huge one and I feel like I carried it there on my back, and it makes me so very sad.

Today, it is apparent that it was too soon to throw out the box of Tampax.  Everytime I think I’m well down the path to menopause, I find myself once again surfing the crimson wave. This is minor, a pebble, but it contributes all the same.  PMS, after all, is cited by defense attorneys in the wake of murder and mayhem.

But then, it piles on, these stones to the cairn.

We had a very unpleasant encounter tonight that began a few blocks from home and continued throughout downtown. I was driving and had stopped at a red light before turning right. Apparently I didn’t turn fast enough (at the red) because the driver behind me laid on the horn. Nothing was coming so I preceded.

The driver pulled up next to us and motioned for my husband to put down the window and told us we should stay off the road since we can’t drive worth shit, that my husband (who was born in L.A. and is of Chinese descent ) should go back to where he came from, that I was a fat bitch etc. We could smell the alcohol from our own car.

He was a white man, mid-sixties, overweight, white hair, florid face, bulbous nose, in a white Jaguar (2004-2008) Ohio license GMJ-2259. We followed him to get the plate number– he kept stepping on the gas, stopping short, pulling over, flipping us the bird, weaving all over downtown Dayton before getting on the interstate headed Northbound. If I’d had a gun I would have used it. Not to kill him. But to bully him. To punish him.

We did call the police, but I don’t have much faith that they were able to apprehend him. I wish I’d thought to take a picture at the intersection, but I wasn’t that fast on my feet.

At home, tonight, on television, Missouri Attorney General Bob McCulloch has sold us the same old bill of goods. It took them two months to reach the same conclusion that the Grand Jury in Xenia arrived at in 6 hours in the murder of John Crawford: that the lives of black boys amount to nothing, that “open carry” is only for white dudes, that cops can murder innocent people on a routine basis and not expect that to negatively impact their careers.

I’ve covered Coroner’s Inquests to officer-involved shootings. I knew what was coming down, but some part of me hoped for a break in this loathsome tradition, I hoped this time it might be different. And now the things I hope for are much, much more sinister. Our freedoms of expression don’t extend to my giving voice to this darkness in my soul. So I won’t, except to say whatever violence befalls these cowardly and racist men, they have earned it.

And this is why I don’t carry a gun.

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2 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Carry a Gun

  1. I certainly have not had the days that you have had or the experiences (well, I’ll be 54 in January and I’ve only been 2 months “without”, so yeah, I most certainly do hear you there and I don’t expect it to be over yet) but I complete understand your feelings on the verdict last night. Let the rioting begin. I don’t condone it, I just believe it’s coming, big time. We are having the same going on in Montreal with a cop who killed a 5 yr old boy while speeding and they won’t charge him. He was going 120km/hr in 50 km/hr zone (at impact, he was going 90) and they’re NOT charging him!! The news last night was that they were going to reinvestigate. Yeah. Same result as last week, I’m sure. Pisses me off to no end. No rioting yet, I don’t think.

    I’m so glad you guys are okay and safe!! Damn!

    Hey, you’ve got us on your side. Don’t spread yourself too thin.

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