Thursday, February 23, 2006

Shooting Solo

I dropped my car off to have the oil changed and then I walked next door to the range. I was already sweating before I even pulled the doors open. It was quiet inside. Apparently three in the afternoon on a weekday is not a busy time. The men behind the counter went through the usual questions; had I been there before, did I know what I wanted to shoot. I was really nervous but the answers came out convincingly.

"I have never been here alone before,"' I confessed to the guy behind the counter handing me the Glock. He would go back with me and make sure I was ok. I'm not sure if I was relieved or not. It felt more like another layer of pressure but I couldn't tell him no.

My hands were shaking as I loaded it. I couldn't stop them. I thought, he's going to tell me to leave because I am some crazy person who cannot stop shaking before I've even fired the thing. In reality, I don't think he noticed. I held it all together and finally fired a few rounds.

He gave me a few tips on firing more slowly, squeezing the trigger and leaning in. Then he left. I was so grateful that there wasn't anyone there to watch me shake and sweat. Alone was really great. The range was the perfect temperature and I shot well. Alone.

When I finished firing the fifty rounds, I left the range area and entered the store. It was filled with male customers. "Excuse me" I said. My female voice surprised them and like the Red Sea, they parted and left me through right to the counter.

"How'd it go?" He already knew because he was watching me through the glass.

"Great" I said and thanked him for his help. I felt pretty good and he smiled. Maybe he had seen me shaking.

I opened the doors and walked next door to the garage. The guy doing my oil change wanted to see my target and I showed it to him. "Awesome grouping!" I smiled, half laughing at his response. I shut my car door and drove away.

Sunday, February 19, 2006


Sometimes I cry involuntarily when I type. I hate to do it. They run fast and hot right onto the keyboard, my hands, my shirt. This time I was typing an email to a friend about nothing really and the pressure behind the words just pushed the tears out and I feel like an ass. That or I feel like Holly Hunter in "Broadcast News" crying every morning before work. Good in the movie, bad if I'm not trying to exorcise something.

Obviously, I am. I am trying to reach out or I wouldn't have this blog. The loneliness of small talk over email makes me incredibly sad. I cannot seem to put myself first when I need to. I realize that I am actually crying over what I am not saying, what I don't allow myself to say. I don't want to feel alone. I don't want to feel scared. I want to feel like I value myself. Why don't I just say that? Even though these may be universal emotions, I never want to be that person who says it. I am afraid of who I am.

There. Maybe the cry-typing can stop now.

Saturday, February 18, 2006


He's putting up shelves in the other room. I can hardly believe it. He even got up at 9am to be at Home Depot when they opened. I have waited a long time for this. I know that sounds ridiculous, but in our house there is a lot of stuff. Its verging on crazy in the office so he bought me an ibook yesterday to get me out of there and on the wireless. I am very grateful. He thinks it will help me move forward.

"I want to start in the corner with these shelves," he says, "but I need to move my stuff out of the corner first." There is barely enough room to turn around in there so I imagine it will spill out into the hallway. I don't care. He will finish the project. The idea of space is exciting to him too and I wonder why it has taken so long to get here. Maybe he just needed to get me out of there in order to take it over, get things done. I am going through similar feelings toward our "guest" room and the rest of our house. Spring comes early in Vegas and the cleaning has begun.

He takes a break in front of me and talks about the shelves and the space and moving things around to get it all done. He has that project look in his eyes that guys get, only his look is amplified as if he's been saving his up or something. He reaches for a tape measure and claims "I'm going to try to be smart about this." His eyes are twinkling. A good Saturday.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Thinking About Shooting

Life tends to swirl in the toilet for a while before I think about going to the range. I'm not sure why that is since I find such a sense of empowerment there. Maybe that is why. It is hard to feel deserving of anything good when I am swirling.

Today, with the sun shining a beautiful 70 degrees, I started thinking about going to the range. I had seen these practice Sig Sauers at Fry's (electronic store) the other day and didn't take much time to look at them in order to understand how they worked or why they were there. Maybe one of you can eplain? At any rate, they reminded me of what I haven't been doing and how I have been feeling and how I need to fill my life with activities right now. I sat on my hammock, face to the sun and thought, "I want to go shoot."

I began to count the months and it has been about five months since I first fired a weapon. I think I am finally over the fact that I was taught that shooting was "dirty". Guns were not just dangerous and stupid but in that XXX category of things that no respectable person would do. I still don't like the fact that while shooting, you are never connected to the target. I can't tell if I've hit the paper at all until I reel it in and inspect it. I do believe that this makes it easier to hurt someone or something, however, I have never killed anything so this is an opinion based on range shooting only. I hope that remains the case.

Back on the hammock, my thoughts went from my last visit to the fact that I will go alone this time. I thought about technique, safety and all of the things that I think about before I go to make sure I am as comfortable as possible. The most important part in all of this was that I wasn't afraid at all. Existing in a mind swirling in fear, it is incredible to me what I had done. If you can conquer one fear and all that, right? I don't know, but hopefully I'm off to the range.

Sunday, February 05, 2006


Right now it is all pain. Pain, hurt, ache, pain in my head, heart, all over pain, no one will ever understand pain. I want to make it stop any way I can pain. The please make it stop hurt, hurting that I cannot articulate, that I don't understand myself.

One said, I hold people to an impossible measure, hoping they will rise but knowing they will fail me. I know that is true. It is that and more. It is also a hope that I will rise up and fail them, hurt forcing me to push them out and away, as if perfect is the only result good enough for those around me. The hurt I feel most of the time can only infect them and I hide it until they cross a line, make a move, use their independence, act like themselves. Then the pain is septic and I make that final push. The hurt becomes a regret of philosophical proportions. It is hard to feel wrong when propelled by such an inward belief that my pain is the right and only one.

My stomach churns with the knowing that this is who I am. I cannot not deal with change well. I have always turned to substances to lessen the blow and now that is not an option I want to choose. Instead, I cry. I say things I don't mean but believe so much that I mean them in the moment that I understand how people would call me crazy. On the other hand, I push through a strong persona, the one I think people might want, trying to salvage what little of the relationships around me might be left. All of the sudden it all becomes clear; the alternative is to be alone.

Grasp at everthing, all of it, that is my last best avenue. Save it all, the baby and the bathwater before they hit the ground. Prevent the crash at the last minute and all will be fine again. Those words, hurtful, painful, meant to cut through you words, can never be unsaid. Still, I try, because I don't want to go it as myself alone.

Realization hits after the frantic calms and sleep intercedes. Maybe its the meds, maybe its the food but a bit of serenity drips down my throat for just a moment. He is always there to help me, put up with me, hold me, feel my pain for me if he can. Fourteen years and I am still learning this. He is by my side. I am not alone. Even when I come up with crazy from the depths of my brain, he is there to interpret to me and to others. He is there to apologize, to cajole, to help me see the truth in my actions, even when listening is a quiet skill buried in all of the bullshit. He loves me no matter what. Time has proven that one thing out. He stands against my hurt and helps me know that I am not alone. I love him.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

A Message

I look at your image, your smoking image, every time I come in here and see the computer. You are thinking in that shot, maybe getting ready to say something with your smoking arm's elbow on the bar. Maybe you're just getting ready to take a drink. The shot looks up at you from the ground, a little out of focus, making you bigger than life. Often that is how I see you.

There is no apology really. There is never enough for something that I did in order to hurt you and myself at the same time, hurt that twindom. I wanted to see that look in your eyes, that was, until I saw it. It was such a darkness I saw around and behind and through your sockets. In that moment, regret flooded into my heart and into my mind and I knew how stupid I had been. I cannot bear to hurt you even when I just desperately want to hurt myself.

"Go lay on your little couch and think about how much you hurt the people who care about you," I think is what you said. I did as I was told and thought a lot about those who care about me. I thought a lot about you and your bigger-than-life image in my mind and role in my life. I need to change my perspective instead of destroying myself in its name. Maybe then I will stop desecrating what is good and celebrating what is bad. I hope you will be there for that.