A fight broke out. This seemed to be a common occurrence at parties. Two people spend the night sizing one another up while feeding heavily on liquid courage before deciding they had watched enough boxing matches to bob and weave. I don’t know why I always decided to play bouncer at parties. Breaking up these drunken brawls, when I wasn’t in them of course.
Pulling the two people off each other, I took my friends cue to get them the fuck out of there. Throwing one towards his friends, “Get the fuck out of here!” I yelled. Everyone yelled. A physical confrontation had ignited everyone to bury hatchets in each other. As people pushed and shoved, some retreated to their cars while others retreated to the comforts of music and beer pong inside.
There I stood, playing bouncer and getting people sorted by welcome and not welcome. As my friend made her way to shout in the face of the people ruining her party and good time, the chaos began to settle.
The porch light was the first to catch black metallic glint. As the kid raised his hand, it became quite clear he came to this party looking for trouble. The pistol gripped firmly in his hand, he pointed it at her. Before the thoughts, why would you bring a gun to a party passed through my head, I moved forward.
Then, I placed myself between the gun and the girl.
“If you are going to pull a weapon on someone, you better make sure you use it, because if they get the chance to pull a weapon on you, they will kill you.”
My brother iterated to me. He had just finished telling me of the time his father killed a man at a motel. The man brought a gun to a gun battle and didn’t intend on using it. My brother’s father had a very different code he lived by. The story goes the man was on the run after I believe a robbery when he arrived at the wrong motel room. As he demanded entrance, waving a gun around, My brother’s father took his faithful shotgun out and unloaded on the man. The spray of buckshot riddled the mans body. Story continues as his father was such a trusty shot none of the spray could be found in the wall behind the man. Kill shot.
I heard this story a few times in my life. It was important. In eighth grade, when the kid threatened to stab me with a knife and I hit him as hard as I could in the face. He couldn’t pull his knife while unconscious.
I never liked the idea of bringing a weapon to a fight. I had two hammers attached to me in the form of hands. Weapons scared me. If you brought a weapon, it was to be used, not brandished around as a form of intimidation.
At nineteen I stood there, staring down the barrel of a gun in some stranger’s hands at a party in the middle of nowhere.
Putting myself between my friend and the gun was no act of bravery. Fight or flight, mixed with a decent dose of liquid courage, stories of motel rooms and dead bad guys, all had culminated in a moment where my subconscious acted for me.
I remember the dark barrel of the gun and thinking about its remarkable resemblance to the irises of the person holding it. A black hole seemingly going to nowhere.
I stood there, waiting for my life to flash before my eyes. I stood and waited for the flash of muzzle to be my last sight as life went out in the blink of existence. Was I ready to die? No, but I was sure it would happen and came to terms with the fact it was now out of my hands. I would, at the very least, not die pissing my pants or begging for life.
My mouth opened and my mind shut off.
The time between staring down the barrel and red headlights speeding off has been recited to me.
I began to shout at the man.
“FUCKING SHOOT ME PUSSY!”
Over and over again.
As he got into his car, I started advancing towards it before he sped off. At this point, I was screaming at the top of my lungs and three people had to grab me to keep me from chasing after the car.
I began to lift out of my black out, realizing I was shouting at red tail lights as friends grabbed me, trying to calm me down. Standing there, I didn’t remember what had happened after the fight. But, as my mind cleared up a bit, the man reaching in his car, the black glint, the barrel, his barrel irises, standing between, it all came back to me.