This one case I’ve got is making me squeamish.

I’m carrying extra magazines and keeping a long gun up in the front seat and changing my route to work and driving around the block a couple of times before I park anywhere and checking my mirrors and keeping my head on a swivel.

The funny thing about this is how alive it makes me feel.

Everything is sparkly and bright and vivid. I see everything. I am awake in a way that a therapist would call hyper alert but that I just call being careful.

Condition Yellow.

I like it.

And I am almost one hundred percent certain that I have nothing to fear. But you never know. And really, I should be “all up ons” all the time. The list of people who might be a little bit unhappy with me is long. Something about me rubs a certain type of person the wrong way. All I have to do is just be in the room or something and they can develop a life-long, intense hatred for me. So, yeah, I should probably be careful.

But it’s kind of fun wondering if that car is slowing down for a reason.

Like being in a suspense movie.

The Bourne Redundancy.

Then I think about my wife and kid, and I don’t like it at all anymore. I want to be a dentist or a librarian. I was watching that new show on HBO, In Treatment. Gabriel Burns is this shaggy-haired, craggy-faced, sweet, old wise man who helps broken people. Anyway, I was watching him sitting in his well-worn leather chair, a pile of books behind him, little model sailboats all around, and someone talking to him quietly, and for a second I thought that’s the way to be.



Helping, but in a quiet, peaceful way. Fifty minutes at a time.

I mean, when he drives around a parking lot for five minutes, he’s looking for a place to park.

Ah, who am I trying to kid?

It ain’t me, babe.

Another funny thing is this reminds me of my dad. Years ago he was involved in a shooting. He killed this guy who was a member of, say, a kind of a club. An association of people with similar interests. And they hatched a plot to kill my dad that got busted up. Long story. Anyway, for about a year my old man was pretty worried. He had to take a lot of precautions and it was ugly and bad and not fun at all. My situation isn’t anything like that, not by a long shot, but it does sort of remind me in a very tangible way that what I do for a living has consequences for the people who love me.
That sucks very, very much.

No, thank you.


“Open wide. This isn’t going to hurt at all. You may feel a slight pressure.”

Dentists, man.

Fuck that.