It didn’t take long for Paul to make my wedding band into a bullet.  He handed me the round and an unloaded .38 Special.

 “What are you gonna do?  Sign the walls of your master bedroom like a divorce decree?” Paul asked as I chambered the bullet.

 “This isn’t a Lifetime movie”, I aimed toward the nearest mirror.  “Something, not someone, needs to wear this forever.”  Paul shrugged his shoulders as I walked out of his apartment, the barrel pressing against my pelvis.

 ***

 When you only have one round, you have to think about your target carefully, filling in the what and the where before you wear the powder burns of how on your palm like a rough handshake.  Anything related to weddings or marriage was off limits.  There’s an ostentatious obviousness of shooting the married couple standing frozen atop the steeple of an edible cathedral or cracking the camera lens caressing the bride and groom into something close to perfect.  Anything related to her and I was out, too, like puncturing our bed like a heart.  Trying to shoot God in the face was ridiculous; we had a secular ceremony.

 ***

 The barbs tried mainlining tetanus as I made my way over the fence guarding the apple orchard just outside of town.  I slowly drew the .38 Special out of my pants and aimed toward the nearest apple tree.  The bullet burrowed through the bark and into the trunk like a seed.  Some day, I hope a little girl bites into one of these apples and coughs up the princess sleeping inside of her stomach.

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