The Gun Thanksgiving / 26 November 2006
It was a Gun Thanksgiving, once again. Yay! We just left the goddamn plates there on the table and kind of sadly shrugged when we heard the dogs (one named after one of my many aborted novels: Harper Juno) fighting over who got the abandoned turkey &c. My stepmother playing vaguely remembered songs on the piano in the basement. The men watching Bronco v. Chief, I think.
Me, I’m sitting on the back porch, freezing, smelling chimneysmoke from a far-off house, drinking some kind of pumpkin cocktail and not listening. Next to me is my step-uncle, who’s talking about three Thanksgivings ago when he went to The Galloper outside of Las Vegas (“the Meadows,” he calls it) and spent three bills and all he got was a blowjob (after having his “Action Jackson” disinfected and covered with a black condom) and then he had to give her a back massage, like that was some awesome special treat.
On the side of the house next to this huge thermometer that looks like a toucan is this even huger — what. A mandala, maybe? This big southwestern thing made out of steel, the kind of art project you’d find in a Pier One for the price of a blowjob at The Galloper. Anyway I’m pretending to really admire it when I notice some little dealie perched on the end of one of its spires or tendrils, and since I’m already committed to pretending to be really fascinated by this thing, and since I’m looking for a reason to get up and maybe stumble back into the house and escape my step-uncle’s monologue, I head on over there to investigate.
Turns out it’s a bullet! A bullet sitting right there. I pick it up and my step-uncle is on the scene posthaste. “What you got there,” he says. “Bullet for a .38?” I said I don’t know, and I’m a little worried about it just blowing up in my hand. Who knows how bullets work.
“Can I have it?” says my step-uncle. “I have a gun in the glovebox and I think that’ll fit.” I say sure, pouncing on the opportunity, because now’s my chance to make a clean getaway.
I suppose I should’ve put a little more thought into it, because like an hour later he’s back and most likely high, lifting up his shirt to show the gun that’s somehow crammed between his post-Thanksgiving gut and the strained waistline of his Wranglers. After a heated argument over who’s the better “snatch pleasurer,” my step-uncle fires the bullet into my brother’s hand.
Later at the hospital my brother laughed a little because he found that bullet in the Trapper Keeper where our father keeps his will (we like to check it a couple times a month), and he wanted to put it somewhere the kids couldn’t get at it.