The Sage in the desert sand took them to the base of the mountain. There were no birds; only mice and scrub. The Indians left here long ago and if a person stood long enough they would sink into to the sand. The pickers scratch and find their way into your socks. This was no place for hair extensions, Botox or stripper shoes. This desert was good for two things: hiding what you don't want people to see and doing what you don't want people to know.
The traces of man were everywhere with brass and plastic casings. The first thing my eyes came across was an electric guitar laying on a sand heap. The Pete Townshend in me sprung out and said, "Rock and Roll is Dead". For the last five years, in my soul, it has felt like it. Then the voice of John Hiatt said, "It breaks my heart to see those stars, smashing a perfectly good guitar". I told them both to shut the fuck up because the guitar wasn't a Les Paul or a Fender strat. It was cheap...like the quality of a man I have always hated but somehow end up with after a hard night of drinking and ovulation.
At first it was a bit disturbing to see all the junk and trash. But every piece of waste became a treasure to discover. The question became how you could make or build a new target. From behind a bush, Scout found a paper target with the letter "Z"- her last initial. It was a sign from God- a synronicity of surreal moments. The life came back into me as we yelled, swore and laughed. I knew I needed to get out of town more often to reconnect with the inner child, the artist, the wild spirit that has been stalled in an urban disneyland of fuck ups called Las Vegas.
Puscifer chimed in with my end of the world anthem, What do you know?
It's all fire and brimstone baby, so let's go outside
It's all fire and brimstone baby, I got my brand new pistol baby
and a scratchy recording from some old phonograph record voiced over:
"The existence that people have come to know is falling out from under us;
The gravy train ride is over"... "Those who know how to work and survive will".... "Hold on".... "Those who are unwilling or cannot adapt will not..."
The Sage had kept up with us as we ascended the rocks to look at nature's ledge and the slew of beer bottles, aerosol cans and a red plastic apple. We arranged and filled them with stones to stay upright in the wind.
There we were- The spawn of 'Nam soldiers and part of the dead mom's club. Scout was in her step dad's fatigue jacket. I lost my dad's fatigues in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1991.
We stood with the Sage as we walked through the stages of armament. Practicing a ritual that only supports further realization that a woman with self confidence and the ability to call her own shots needs a boy like a fish needs a bicycle. The sage pulled the 38 out of the holster and I heard that slinky Gary Rossington guitar part and the lyrics, "Mr. Saturday Night Special...has a barrel that's blue and cold....aint good for nothin'....but put a man 6 feet in the hole."
We were singing Lynrd Skynrd like children but yet we had enough gun powder to blow away the pain for every time we were invalidated, used and robbed. Having my good nature manipulated was one of my particular afflictions. But the demon was excorcised the minute when Jesus, the holy ghost and cold hard steel were miraculously connected by my index finger. "Well Punk, did I fire six shots, or was it three? "
My brain was a medley of music...Rage against the machine....Pocket full of shells.....The left side pocket of my hoodie was full as we reloaded. One taking turns on the wheel gun, the other on the automatic. The Sage filled the magazine in an ordered trifecta of practice. The sounds of metal, time and gunfire were hitting rocks and dirt. It was a wild western movie. It was heaven. This was all part of the great adventure.
And that afternoon, I had an epiphany through the act of target practice: It is only when one can truly defend themselves in word and action for protection, they stop acting as a potential target for bad behavior. It is not about the gun in and of itself, it is about boundaries and protecting what is valued for the greater good.
Scout and I were on our way to becoming citizens and true virtuous women--- Not victims, not trophies; not dolls, not usable vessels that when emptied are discarded for another. The spirits of our motherly matrons were laughing at us, as we chanted over and over,"Gimme back my bullets".