A friend of mine who lives in Chicago picked me up after we wrapped the Quilty taping. Neither of us had much time, but a few hours was better than nothing. I was expecting a cup of coffee and a snack, but instead, we shot guns.
There’s a huge, down-to-the-studs remodeling project going on in the warehouse that is part of my friend’s business. And there’s a giant wall of insulation that is going to be torn out tomorrow. On Sunday, not a soul is in the warehouse and that wall of insulation is smack in the middle of that absolutely enormous, raw, space, and if a person had a Colt 45 and some wax bullets, why, it would be really fun to shoot a few of ’em through that big insulation wall, now wouldn’t it?
It’s just what we did.
My friend was in the armed forces years ago and respects every firearm safety measure there ever was or ever will be. He made sure the wax was placed correctly, that the chambers were loaded just so (there are six chambers but you only load five) and he had me stand far away so he could take the first few shots and ensure everything was okay to let me try.
The combination “BANG!” of the pistol and the essentially instantaneous “PAP!” of the wax slug as it shot through the insulation board was intoxicating. I cocked again: “BANG!” And again: “BANG!” and the holes appeared in that towering piece of two-inch thick pink insulation board. I was shooting a little high and brought the gun down, or so I thought. My shots kept hitting higher than I thought they would; it made me want to get the whole bag of wax and practice till I got good. Practice till it got dark. Practice till I didn’t feel like shooting anymore.
I have no comment on the rightness or wrongness of guns. I can only comment on how good it was to see my friend, how thrilling it was to make a loud sound.