It’s OK!

When you’re out today, just imagine – viscerally, vividly – that everyone you encounter is armed. Their guns are right there, slumbering at their waists, when you hit the treadmill; when you order your latte; when you pick up the slim, almost pointless newspaper; when you pay your toll; when you take the elevator up to 14; when you shift your weight during a presentation (and when you later remark on Ted’s “shitty” attitude toward the client); when you pick up dinner for the kids (cheeseburgers and soda, as opposed to last night’s pizza and soda); when you decide, last-minute, to take the family to Black Panther (don’t tell your neighbors!); when you walk the dog at night, taking in a moment of clarity on the moonlit sidewalk until that guy at the end of your street – the one you’ve never been quite sure of, that guy? — he comes out of his bungalow in a huff and sees your dog taking a piss on his patchy lawn, and he lifts up his shirt just so, flashing with grace and almost neighborly warmth the CZ 75 that you know you’ve heard on the first of the month before — in fact, just this month, now that you think about it, when you saw him march up to his landlord, gun held aloft and gleaming beautifully in the February sun — glistening, actually — shouting that he doesn’t have the rent today and he doesn’t “fucking know” when he’ll have it — the “fucking shop” isn’t just handing out shifts anymore, y’know? — and he glares once more at your dog, who in his own dog-like way is strapped with both a water bottle and a cool semi in his little pup backpack, before ducking back into his apparently rent-free existence.

And, why, your gun is right there too! If anyone happens to look at you sideways or miscommunicate an emotion or – for heaven’s sake – adjust their belt too quickly, well, you’re safe! You can shoot them! You can shoot them! That’ll do it!

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