His plan, unspoken, was simple. Pure in its simplicity. Pure in his understanding. He would go to the gun show, and if he could find one, purchase a Yugoslavian M-45 8mm mauser. He needed one with a turned-down bolt, for the obvious reason. He thought he would go 150 if necessary. Maybe 180. Maybe 200 if he found something truly extraordinary.
The gun show was at the suburb's civic auditorium. He drove over, nearly missed the entrance. There weren't many cars in the lot. No one was going in or coming out. A sign directed him to the main entrance. At the main entrance another sign, handmade, was taped to the glass door. It read Gun and Knife Show Canceled.
It took him aback.
He'd had a plan.
Now the day opened. No good thing to do. Adrift he found himself.
Should he go home and sit in his house?
Like every other Sunday. Like he could take another Sunday like every other Sunday.
As though Sunday were the problem.
As though Sunday were not the problem.
How could they cancel?
Already late. Already past one. He drove aimlessly toward his house. Decided to get something to eat. Beef or chicken? He drove to the chicken place like all the other losers. He drove through the drive through and bought a chicken sandwich and a soda.
He recalled once seeing a pornographic film in which one character invited some other characters to make a sandwich. The character, he did not think, said a chicken sandwich.
Only a sandwich.
He felt a deep disgust with himself at the memory of participating in such an entertainment.
Disgusted with himself.
With the world.
As he drove the busy county road.
A woman in a golden Toyota ahead of him going less than the limit. She had a yellow support our troops ribbon and a pink ribbon on the back of the car.
He did not know what the pink ribbon meant. A gay thing, he supposed.
Facing him through the back window were 10 or 12 small stuffed teddy bears. One had a diamond-shaped yellow sign affixed to its chest that read Bear on Board.
So this thing was made to be displayed in a vehicle.
He wondered, some days, what the fuck was happening to the country.
But he could not fault her. Her messages, while apparently superficially contradictory, or potentially so, were not malice.
She was not signaling anything against anyone.
He had to remember that.
His car smelled like the chicken from the chicken place.
The woman turned off; he was almost to his house.
He remembered many years before he had hunted in the deep woods and he prayed to the Bear God to give him a bear, and the Bear God did.
But it was not the bear he'd wanted.
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