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read_me.gif Southern Voice Washington Blade

Secret Santa Shooter

In which I learn guns are not toys

by j. brotherlove

Perhaps, it’s premature (perhaps not). But, I’ve been thinking about the things I’ve never done. For instance, I’ve always wanted to know how to fire a gun. That’s a “manly” thing. And I don’t have a lot of traditional manly habits (sports, repair, automobiles). I’ve only held a gun once. When I lived with DPW-S, he went through a period in which he kept a gun under the bed (I should’ve been gone way before this time). One night when he was out, I took it out of the shoebox and held it. It was heavier than I thought it would be; and cold. I reflected on the many gun scenes I’d seen in film and cocked it. Wait a minute! What did I do? I panicked. Mainly, because I didn’t know how to un-cock it (if that’s even a word). They never did that in the movies, they always pulled the trigger. After freaking out for 10 minutes, I carefully placed the cocked gun on the windowsill.

When DPW-S got home, I told him what happened. He uncocked the gun (that’s how you do it) and told me that I “shouldn’t have fucked with it in the first place”. He was right, and I’d been warned before not to play with guns.

When I was in sixth grade, my class held a Secret Santa gift exchange. In retrospect, it was a bit ironic since I went to a Catholic school. Nevertheless, the nuns encouraged us to celebrated the fictional, overweight pagan, figure. My mother took me to the store to get a gift for the name I had chosen. I don’t remember what I bought but I know it took a long time for me to decide.

I was so excited the day of gift exchange - until, I got my gift. Even then, I was interested in art and I was extremely envious of a boy in my class who got a paint-by-numbers set. Why didn’t I get that? Instead, I received a toy gun that shot white plastic balls.

It was a cool toy, I guess. A boy toy (vs. the ambiguous paint-by-numbers set). I brought it home and showed my mom, relating to her how I really wanted the paint-by-numbers set. My mom told me to be grateful, so I made the best of it and played with my gift.

When my father got home he took one look at the toy gun and took it away from me. There wasn’t much explanation that I can remember. I cried horribly as he took it outside and threw it in the garbage can. My mom tried to console me but I hated my father for many years for that. At least he could’ve explained why de didn’t want me to play with the toy gun. Even better, he could’ve replaced the gift with say… a paint-by-numbers set. To this day, I’m still not a big fan of Secret Santa.

But I still want to shoot a gun.

pub: 04/07/2002 | previous entry | next entry | feedback x 1 | subscribe

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