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Me and My Guns 4

October 12, 2015

The Beauty of It

As I said on page 3, my favorite gun was my 22 caliber, semi-automatic carbine. Now is my chance to sing its praises. That gun was beautiful.

It was substantial but compact. Dark and sleek. You looked at it and it said, perfection, form fitted to function, and beyond. It said, hold me. You want to. You pick it up and it whispers, just right.

I’m exaggerating—kind of; but that gun was beautiful both aesthetically and erotically (and are those ever separate? hint: nope).

For me it didn’t have to be used any longer; I knew its use. It was designed to kill. But it was beautiful.

Its metal was metal, in an understated, cloudy gray metallic confidence. Its straight lines flowed parallel and focused, harmonious with the columnar barrel and the planes of its housing, on which were lightly etched scrolls that echoed the curl of its trigger guard. That unostentatious ornamentation, like tastefully selected earrings worn with just the right makeup and a very expensive dress, enhanced and complimented both the gun and its owner—it said, I know who I am, I know what I’m doing, and I’m all class. The wood of its stock was of a finely grained, reddish dark tone that blended with, and perfectly complemented, its metal. All in itself, it was a celebration.

But it was when you held it, with both hands or one, that it took you both deep inside and out of yourself.

Its size and its weight were perfectly scaled to the human. I could carry it with pleasure, loosely at my side or tucked under my right arm, or cradled in the crook of my left elbow, or raised—with easy speed, to sight.

But it was its balance that was supremely pleasing. I felt and knew that balance especially when I held it in my right hand, gripping it lightly and firmly from the top where it curved into its stock, as if by its slender neck, just back of the trigger guard and rear sight.

I could carry it that way, by my thigh; or I could hold it up and forward, leveled as if it were a revolver.

Or I could grip it just ahead of the trigger guard and hold it up and out to my side, elbow bent, hand just below my shoulder height. (My left hand could have been holding reins, or patting my horse’s shoulder.)

Best of all, I could lift it above my head, my arm stretched upward, wrist relaxed to form a slight outward curve of Zen perfection in the imperfection, avoiding the fixed and the mechanical, the posed, and rather, imitating nature, hold the gun not quite precisely horizontal to the earth, its stock just lowered, its front sight at the highest point of our form.

A triumph of the spirit.

Or of the ego? What was it, about the feel of the balance of that gun in my hand, that made it seem so right, so satisfying? Was I really as balanced as I thought, in that balancing act?

At any rate, that was my experience of that gun. Someone whose gun was a pistol, in the neighborhood of desperation, would tell another valuable story, another powerful image, significantly different, but maybe similar too.

I want to think about the aesthetics of the body, of love, of sex, of death, of evil, of the ego, of the soul. No reason to think that I can do that adequately, but I’ll have to do what I can.

Remembering that the subject of this novel is the psychopathologies of American democracy. And remembering to breathe.

But….Onward! Through page 4.5 (poetry and humor) to page 5 (why holding that gun felt so good).

From → aesthetics, guns

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