The president is crying about guns. I write a story about a gun that smiles. I write a story about a gun that walks on two legs. I change the story so the gun walks on four legs, like a dog. Then comes the story about a dog holding a gun, a gun that the dog knows how to fire, like a man. Dog is man’s best friend.
A digital avatar shoots the president’s digital avatar. The president is crying because he is out of lives. The president has respawned enough times, so the game is over. Now, the president is crying because he likes the game, and the game is over.
My father buys a gun. I tell him I will go shoot across open fields with him. Where we are from, there are many open fields. We drive everywhere and find the open fields and look across at what is on the other side. We can shoot the gun, together, at what is across the fields. My father puts his hand on my shoulder, then I put my hand on his shoulder, and our other hands come together and we are holding hands. The gun is in the car. When we are done holding each other we will go and retrieve the gun, like the president wants.
I write a story about a gun that makes no sound. Then, a story about a gun that is always loaded, the forever-shooting gun. The president likes that one, or at least likes the concept when I pitch it to him. He stops crying for a second and laughs. Then, the president cries a touch more. I look at the president and he is holding a gun. He tells me the gun is not loaded. He tells me that his gun is almost never loaded. The president’s gun is pointed at me, by the president. The president is crying as he points the gun at my face. Now, I am the one laughing.
Every story is either about a stranger coming to town or a stranger coming to town with a gun. Sometimes, the stranger is unarmed and the town is the gun. The president tells me he holds a great gun, one of the best ever built. I listen, of course, there is a gun in my face.
My father calls me. He knows that I have met the president’s gun. What was it like meeting the president’s gun?
He sang to the gun, and to me.
How did he sound?
I get into the car, the car holding the gun. My father is there with the president. The car starts moving. Soon we will be across the field, the four of us, and we will be there together.
Steven Grassel is a writer from Pittsburgh. His work has appeared in Word Riot and The Turnip Truck(s). He lives in Brooklyn.