If I Had A Gun

I’m an emotional person. Through years of therapy, medication, behavioral changes and hard work, I’ve learned to not apologize for it. This blog, like my life, is honest. I don’t lie or portray a character.

As a writer and journalist for Lefty Pop http://www.leftypop.com I react to the news of the day, trying to make sense of it. When the state in which I reside, Georgia, signed House Bill HB 60 into law yesterday (taking effect July 1st), aka the “guns anywhere” bill, I did my usual and ripped my state on the medias that are social for being a laughingstock.  I wish I could say that I slept on it and realized I overreacted or as one of my wise friends said “hid behind the hyperbole machine”. But, no. And I didn’t sleep, much, because I kept seeing visions of heat-strapped people at the store of groceries..

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I have two jobs I like even more than writing; husband and father. Keeping my wife and three daughters safe stays on my mind and heart. I abhor guns and don’t feel qualified or have the want for one, so now, life just got harder because my community’s full of gun toting Constitution misinterpreting NRA bullying yahoos. Forget about my chances of getting shot, increased by this horrible law, the 4 women I live with just became Targets, at Target.

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The new law allows concealed weapons into many government buildings. This strips local officials of the ability to make their own rules. I thought gun folks liked local government, just not the federal one?

It bars law enforcement from stopping an armed person and asking to see their permit to carry that weapon. Yes, because making the police’s job harder is smart and prudent.

It allows weapons into bars unless the owner explicitly and publicly bans them. Booze and Berettas are always the perfect mix.

It allows gun owners whose concealed-carry permits that have been yanked for cause to reapply after just three years. Because bad bullet barristers have feelings too.

If concealed-carry permit holders try to bring their weapons past airport security systems, it allows them to get off, scot-free, without legal consequence. So, what was the Patriot Act for, again? And why do I have to take my shoes off?

It allows school personnel to carry concealed weapons with significantly less training than that required of law enforcement. Oh, great. Because my kids’ science teacher should be packing a pistol not test tubes.

It allows those convicted of pointing a weapon at another person illegally to still receive a concealed-carry permit. This nullifies the “gun people are people, too” argument. Apparently they’re more than that.

Gun nuts, forgive me, supporters of this law point out that the law only allows weapons to be carried into places of worship or college campuses if approved by the owners. Sweet,  so I won’t get shot at church or my emerging college freshman won’t get blasted after Western Civ unless the pastors and provosts allow it.

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The thing about living in Georgia the past 9 years is we’ve been able to say “hey, we’re not Florida!”, until now. Since 2005, when Florida’s Stand Your Ground travesty went into effect, “justifiable” homicides rose by 300%, peaking in 2009 with 105. Folk heroism was granted to wife-beater George Zimmerman after he killed Travon Martin last year over wearing a hoodie and carrying skittles. Going to the movies became more adventurous than what was onscreen when earlier this year a retired cop put a hole in the chest of a guy for throwing popcorn. Now, Georgia’s Stand Your Ground law is worse than Florida’s. Netflix just became my BFF.

I don’t care about statistics. I care about people. I really freaking care about my family and my friends. I’m going to be brutally honest. I think the gun lobby, extreme right-wing republicans and myopic gun owners care more about their cold steel and it just made all of us less safe. People will die and I don’t think any of them give a damn because they never take responsibility for gun deaths, ever. If they cared about people more than guns, then they wouldn’t let this law exist.

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This bill has nothing to do with the Second Amendment. Every part of Bill HB 60 changes what was already constitutional under the Second Amendment. This is extremism that perpetuates every redneck, hillbilly, backwoods, confederate stereotype ever put forth about us. This is no different than my left-wing ideal of gun control being thrust upon them. But at least my perfect world doesn’t kill anyone.

I’m living day one of southern dystopia, GA; Guns Anywhere. I made it to work safe. I’ve checked on the kids and wife, they’re good. I hope day two is the same. Then again, we usually eat out on the weekends. I can’t wait to get shot at Applebee’s.

 

New Values

 

Tear gas and dirt created a low lying fog too intense for me to read the text messages she was sending. The ping from my daughter’s phone led me to the city park.

Dozens of college kids ran from the entrance’s grassy embankment. The riot police announcedthrough bullhorns.

“Exit the area now, peacefully, or you will be stunned.”

There was little time and no way to explain why a middle-aged man was walking into the fray. My phone vibrated. I answered.

“She’s at the mural next to the stage! She’s by herself!”

My wife’s exclamation meant she’d talked to our daughter. I kept walking toward her location and answered.

“Go to the car! It’s parked next to the burrito place! I’ll scoop her up and meet you there when we get there!”

A policeman caught my eye line and yelled.

“Get out of here!”

Before I could respond, two kids fell in front of him and began screaming in fear they’d be hurt. I kept walking.

The mural area was about fifty yards away. The smoke and debris made vision beyond a few yards impossible. A young girl, maybe 19, bumped into me and said.

“Sorry, sir! Hey, I know you!”

I realized it was my daughter’s freshman year roommate. Terrible with names, I closed my eyes and settled on three possible answers.

“Keeral…”

“It’s me, Cora! I saw her near the stage, a few feet from the big Oak! This is nuts,  so out of control!”

I mouthed the word, “run”, and kept walking. After a few steps I see the tree, tall, old, and sturdy. A set of dainty feet nestled into white and silver sandals peered from the base of the trunk. I could recognize them anywhere including the middle of a college demonstration turned riot.

A riot cop barreled into me with his shield, knocking me several feet forward. My face landed into the fescue, two small pebbles indented my forehead. I started crawling, now only a few feet from her.

“Dad.”

Her tinny, scared voice muzzled by the chaos, struck me. I reached for her hand. We pulled on each other until I was with her next to the tree and inches from the metal stage. I huddled next to her, grabbed her face and pulled it into mine, kissing her forehead, and then wiping away blood from a small cut next to her left eye. Her dirty blond hair fell from a ponytail and framed her frightened round face.

“I’m so sorry, dad. I was trying to be like you, caring about stuff, and all.”

I didn’t want her to see me cry. Her tears were enough. I pulled her into me, like when she much younger, and we rocked back and forth for several seconds.

“It’s okay, honey.”

Then, I noticed the writing on the back of her neck. It was a tattoo, still red-skinned, fresh from application, running down the back of her neck. It was Shakespeare.

Love all

Trust a few

Do wrong to none

She murmured between sobs.

“I’m so sorry. I was going to tell you about the tattoo.”

I smiled, read it again, then kissed her cheek.

“It’s better I found out this way.”

We held our hugs until the calamity died down. Then I whispered in her ear.

“The rightness eclipsed every mistake made along the way.”

****blogger’s note****

This is my fictional response to The Speakeasy from Yeah Write http://www.yeahwrite.me/speakeasy/fiction-challenge-158-open/ with the prompt – “The rightness eclipsed every mistake made along the way.” from this movie:

Love In The Time Of Cholera. My piece is also Happy Birthday to both William Shakespeare and Iggy Pop.

100 Word Song – Deep As You Go

I like to blame the Easter Bunny for a lot of things. But this year he didn’t make me pack on pounds with Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs, because I didn’t have any. But he did leave us, here at 100 word song, with only 4 entries. Maybe with all of you back home and in a writing mood, we’ll at least double that, this week. We had a new participant, Christine aka @hanolsy from the fantastic writing community Yeah Write http://yeahwrite.me/ and her own award winning blog, a real writer’s paradise http://trudgingthroughfog.wordpress.com/ . If you’re not following, friending, and reading her, you’re missing out. She chose indie pop act October Project. If Peter Paul and Mary had a baby with the Mamas and the Papas and that baby grew up and to have a baby with The Tragically Hip, you’d have October Project. The harmonies are excellent and the lyrics are, too. So, this week’s 100 word song is Deep As You Go by October Project.

Last time: https://lancemyblogcanbeatupyourblog.wordpress.com/2014/03/29/the-twilight-zone/

Last time: https://lancemyblogcanbeatupyourblog.wordpress.com/2014/04/19/bizarre-love-triangle/

Silas slid spread out crumbled bills across the counter. He pulled his baseball cap down and  stared out the glass door, watching Olive and Zola dance around the Cutlass.

“Son, a good woman doesn’t take you down, she builds you up. And two of them? That’s drowning in the ocean.”

Silas looked up at the middle-aged man. His scruffy face and deep brown eyes framed a content grin. Silas responded.

“That nice lady that checked me in was your wife?”

The man nodded his head and handed Silas his receipt. Silas smiled then said, walking away.

“That’s good advice, sir.”

My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog

As always you have 7 days from NOW, to write 100 words inspired by Christine’s pick of Deep As You Go by October Project. Use the medias that are social to advertise you brilliance and tell a friend or 50. The writing prompts community is drying up but we continue to go strong here at 100 word song. And we rhyme, occasionally.

GO

Pour Some Sugar On Me

I don’t understand people who care so much about food. I know this puts me in a sick, twisted, whatthehellisthematterwithyoufreak minority but the amount of time my wife, daughters, other family members and friends spend talking about and dealing with what they eat astounds me. If I could manufacture a utopia it would look like this scene from the 1930 movie, Just Imagine.

For the video impaired, Just Imagine is a science fiction musical (an underrated genre) where a man with a weird European accent wakes up in 1980 New York City and two dudes in spiffy hates lead him by the arm to a “café” that dispenses a full meal, roast beef, clam chowder, beets asparagus and pie a la mode in a capsule. The joke is “the roast beef is a little bit tough” and his catch phrase “give me the good ole days” is employed twice. Yes! I less than two minutes I could take care of lunch and have my very own tag line. THAT is the life.

But let’s deal with now. Raise your hand if you or your loved ones spend an inordinate amount of time and energy with food. I’m not talking about the competitive kind or some disorder where people are garbage disposals. But Does your significant other ask you about dinner at 6am when you wake up? Are all of your social gatherings around a meal? These are rhetorical questions. Of course they do.

My wife graduated from Le Cordon Bleu. She can make a meal from baking soda, stale crackers, and sardines. If you ever come over to my house, don’t say “there’s nothing to eat”. She will slay that dragon in less than five minutes. She’s a foodie and so are my three daughters. The Food Network, which I wasn’t aware existed before meeting my wife in 2008, is on all of the time. My 18-year-old daughter can bake anything. My 10-year-old daughter loves making cupcakes and has now started following her mom’s lead in the kitchen. My 9-year-old will too. It’s like living with the cast of Ratatouille.

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Everyone I know talks about what they eat. In my social circle, family and friends, there are people who are modifying what they consume. Gluten Free and Paleo diets are discussed as much as the weather and whoever won or lost the big game. I don’t begrudge any of them. I know they’re all technically healthier than I am but Gluten Free Club and Paleo Club are nothing like the Fight one on my blog because apparently the first rules of each are to never stop talking about them. I think if they ever get in a room with Crossfit people, they’ll all eat each other after they row ten miles.

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As much as I romance the idea of what the Vicious Circle of The Algonquin Round Table was like the 1920s, writers including Dorothy Parker sitting around riffing on poetry, politics, gossip, and intellectualism, they were eating and drinking, mostly drinking, but eating too. It’s not that I’m anti-food as social outlet because I love my dinner conversations with my family and friends, it’s that I don’t care about food. And since I don’t drink, much, anymore, this leaves me out, kind of, when it comes to enjoying the experience dining. I don’t have a favorite food and I could live without it, if I had to.

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Maybe one day we’ll have the option of eating meals like George Jetson. This will free up time for me to get more things done and finally have an ab. But until then, I’m going to have to learn to get along better with the majority of society, especially the part close to me, that thinks we are what we eat, literally, figuratively, and culturally. I’m headed out after this post to have lunch with my foodie wife. She’ll ask me where we’re going and I’ll say “I don’t care” and she’ll grumble at me like I’m a clueless fool. I am, but also, I really just don’t care.

Until I get my pills, pour some sugar on me. Because I’m not dealing with foodies without having a good time.

I wrote two books. They got good reviews. The third one, a sequel to the first, Woman Of Troy, is on the way, very soon.

The Ballad of Helene Troy, an underdog story about a female musician in New York City, and Soul To Body, about an ex-1990s guitar player trying to raise his teenage daughter after the death of his wife, her mother, are available, digitally, on Amazon.com for your kindles, and in paperback from Lulu.com

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Man Out Of Time

Holidays open social media windows with pictures of manufactured perfection. I field some questions from my kids then gunslinger stare down my phone before backing down. I gave up the fight a long time ago. Now, I just amuse myself with apathy.

This week’s gargleblaster week’s ultimate question: “Tell me something, old friend: why are you fighting?”

Here’s Elvis Costello’s best song. I identify with it so well.

Bizarre Love Triangle

This is a new story episode of my short story, Light of Day, about Silas and Olive, 2 19-year-old Georgia lovers on the run in 1989 Florida.

Last time: https://lancemyblogcanbeatupyourblog.wordpress.com/2014/04/15/lips-like-sugar/

Broken sleep and a morning beer buzz greeted Silas as he rose from the floor the Sarasota, Florida Beacon Motel, room 37. He pushed himself up to a standing position and located the Atlanta Braves baseball cap and dollar store sunglasses Olive brought him from Ft. Myers. He stepped over a snoring Zola and whispered into the ear of Olive who’d commandeered the bed for herself.

“Going out for a few minutes. I love you.”

She didn’t move but a muffled “love you, too” came from her.

Silas walked outside, let the door close behind him in a ginger manner to avoid waking the women, then looked for police. He spied a newspaper stand then dug into the pockets of his jeans until he found a quarter and a dime. Anxiety rolled over him so he pulled the cap down close to his eyes and donned the sunglasses. He paid for the newspaper then found a shaded alley behind the motel’s laundry service. Pulling the sunglasses off with his right hand, the left searched for a story of a body of a man named Bart found in an industrial section of Sarasota, Florida, shot in the neck.

The newspaper article never appeared. Silas ran through scenarios in his head just like Olive had taught him. When he stumbled upon one that made the most sense, he took off the baseball cap and sunglasses and walked back to the room. Olive opened the door as he arrived. She shook her head and pulled him inside, letting the door slam.

“Silas,  what the hell are you doing? Are you trying to screw things up?”

He pulled his arm away and watched the newspaper splay across the floor. He furrowed his brow, then pulled her mouth to his. The kiss was long, deep, and purposeful. Olive smiled when he let her go.

“Not anymore, Liv.  Get your stuff and Zola together then meet me at the car. I’m going to check out of the room. We’re driving to Tampa to deliver you to your first day of work at The Jade. I’ll find a job or some way to earn quick money and we’ll follow our six month plan to run away, together.”

Behind Olive, a groggy Zola pulled herself onto the bed, wrapped her shoulder-length dark red hair into a pony-tail, lit a cigarette and announced.

“I know where we can get money, a lot of it. It’ll take a few days and some planning. But once we get our hands on it, you have to take me with you.”

Silas and Olive stared at each other. He let out a large, audible sigh but before he could respond, Olive jumped on the bed with Zola, hugged her and said.

“Silas, I told you that you’d love Zola.”

I wrote two books. They got good reviews. The third one, a sequel to the first, Woman Of Troy, is on the way, very soon.

The Ballad of Helene Troy, an underdog story about a female musician in New York City, and Soul To Body, about an ex-1990s guitar player trying to raise his teenage daughter after the death of his wife, her mother, are available, digitally, on Amazon.com for your kindles, and in paperback from Lulu.com

bookcoverpicajjhkasfpaperbackpicturesad

 

100 Word Song – Lips Like Sugar

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Greetings from King Of Prussia, Pennsylvania. I’m here for work. Don’t worry, thank to my 9-year-old’s jokes, I have plenty of pencils. This is why 100 word is 8 or so hours late. I let Leeroy pick this week and he loves 1980s new wave/alternative acts. He picked Lips Like Sugar by Echo and the Bunnymen, perfect for Easter week. I prefer Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs and chocolate, in case you were offering or wondering.

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For my 100 we go back to the Beacon Hotel in 1989 Florida with our felonious 3, Silas, Olive and Zola, my short story noir, Light of Day. It’s also linked to velvet verbosity’s “recognize” one-word prompt http://www.velvetverbosity.com/blog/2014/4/14/100-words-374-10-delicious-poetry-readings

Last time: https://lancemyblogcanbeatupyourblog.wordpress.com/2014/04/10/achin-to-be/

The sugar-high conversation darted about the room. Olive giggled between cookie bites  and beer sips while Zola plotted.

“Liv, you’ve got to be at work by 11 in the morning. I’ve got a client at noon.”

Olive crawled to Silas and straddled his lap.

“Okay, Zo. We’ll crash here, hit Bart’s for clothes, then head to Tampa while you pack your stuff. No one will ever recognize we even knew Bart.”

Olive’s sweet kisses annoyed Silas as he mouthed “we need to leave, now”. She glided off his lap and joined Zola next to the bed where they planned their getaway.

My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog

As always, you have 7 days from today to write 100 words inspired by Echo and the Bunnymen’s Lips Like Sugar. Use the medias that are social to advertise your brilliance and tell a friend or 50. Happy Passover and Happy Easter.