A scene from Dead Friends (a satirical love story)

This is another part of Dead Friends – just a scene.  It’s pretty rough ’cause I just churned it out this evening.  I’m posting it  prematurely, in light of my friend Al’s news that a man is currently trying to commit suicide on 16th & Valencia tonight.

Or Something


A man stood in the middle of the intersection of 16th and Valencia waving a gun. Mechanically we turned from reading the menu in the restaurant window to look in his direction. I quickly took stock of him; probably 32, disheveled clothes, scruffy beard…We’d learned the warning signs long ago, after The Panic At Southern Point Mall in Paso Robles, California. Three days before christmas, a young college student walked into the food court and pulled out a gun. Herds of shoppers clung to their bags of merchandise as though they were tiny children and charged hysterically toward the main entrances. When the dust settled, five people had been stomped so hard they had ceased to breathe. One man, the man with the gun, lay bleeding, forever breathless, from a single gun shot wound to the head in front of the Panda Express. The public outcry over the lifeless five people prompted the joint chiefs of police, fire, and medicine to release a statement that is now as memorable as the pledge of allegiance; A man with a gun is either a danger to himself or a danger to you. The man with a gun and a clean shirt is more likely to aim the gun at you than the man with a dirty shirt. If the man has a dirty shirt, he will likely shoot only himself. Nothing, however, is 100%.

As I looked at this man, a question lodged itself in my frontal lobe; who had buried him before? I scanned the faces on the sidewalk for any hint of epiphany from the passersby. As he raised his gun, a loud, unintelligible slur of words fell from his lips. Was it pain? Laughter? I ducked when I heard the shot, afraid to stop breathing.

The first thing my blurry eyes focused on was a four year old girl, curiously nudging the man’s cracked and bleeding skull with the toe of a pristine shoe. The child stamping her foot in the growing puddle of blood from the man’s head did not look terrified or even shocked. My friends rolled their eyes at the typical drama and brushed imaginary dust off of their shoulders. We continued down the street, hardly noticing the aggravated sirens fast approaching. I found the kid once more, this time her mother leading her gleefully away from the body as the medics mechanically checked his pulse, covered his face and hoisted the man with the gun into the ambulance. I yawned and followed my friends into the restaurant.

More laters!

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