Firearm Fanaticism! #189 –Robert M. Shelby, 1-24-13. [788 txt wds]

I never owned a firearm, but don’t you dare take my gun away from me. My masculine physiology can’t bear a baby, but don’t you dare make me carry it  to full term if I want to  abort for being unfit to mother it or too poor to raise it, or if birthing will kill me, let alone if I got pregnant from rape legitimate or otherwise. After all, since I’m not a woman, my body has no means for shutting the whole thing down. My body has means only for getting the whole thing up. Or down the rabbit hole as the case may be.

I never felt safe owning a gun because, boy, I can really get mad. Fly into a sudden rage on the highway from some fool crossing me, or an impolite idiot yelling obscenities from a sidewalk, hey, I’ll put a bullet in your carburetor, blow away a tire or shoot your nose off with equally sudden if short-lived satisfaction. No, it’s no gun for me, although I certainly like them. I used to devour the gun magazines. I wanted a 270- magnum, bolt-action Husqvarna rifle and flat, little Beretta 25-calibre automatic pistol, but, boy, they were expensive. I kept realizing I had no need for ‘em, whatsoever.

Money was hard to come by and only arrived once, twice or four times a month. Besides, I had other hard worked and time consuming interests, such as becoming The Great American Poet. Such as maintaining a shaky first marriage. Such as breeding a family of uniquely colored guppies or a flashy, bigger finned kind of siamese fighting-fish (betta splendens.) Or making a pot-grown paradise of roses, irises and daylilies. Such as maintaining a wildly crazy, second marriage and trying to help support and raise my son from the first marriage. Wow. What a joy for the wasted years involved, avoiding writing the novel that could’ve made me rich. No money in poetry, y’know. No money in hobbies, only a modest out-go. No money from an impecunious vocation. Never enough money from second-rate jobs for survival, no matter the good works.

My survival was greatly helped by an eighteen-year, live-in liaison with a fine woman I never married, but should have. She was a poet, too. I paid rent and worked around her  place in Berkeley, commuting daily down into Oakland until I retired. She wanted me to convert to Judaism. I had already transcended the “Book Religions” into what I can call “Metagnostic Transtheism” which nobody else understands but maybe the universe itself. I felt everyone would know I was a fake Jew, regardless of my yarmulke. Silly? Similarly, I could not have converted down into Islam or back into Paulist Christ-ism. My ego was in the way. I was close to Zen without Buddhism and to Sufism without Mohammedanism. Philosophically, I was too big for any pre-defined pair of britches.

Truth can be dangerous. One suffers for it. It makes one free to be misvalued as cheap. The fear of suffering for truth makes one fear reality and its burden of fact. When I was young, truth seemed all-important, the supreme value. My writing was a mere tool in the pursuit of truth. Finding the truth a decade ago, writing became a sociable habit. You cannot likely share in my truth with clear understanding. It could turn all you conceive, sense, believe and imagine inside out and upside down. It is too simple, too complete for people whose lives have been spent in the cave of idols and superstitious partiality. Ah, but the cave feels safe and comfortable. That is a delusion.

Guns involve much delusion. Guns give a sense of safety and power to people by whom power may not be well exercised and for whom safety subsists without guns. Often, guns are mere affectation, a show of masculinity to oneself. Like smoking used to be, a show of having resources to burn. The gem-like flame lit from a smoking barrel, a way of playing the loud report card. Attention-getter, the mastery of fire. Rituals of addiction to repeating satisfaction. Refuge of the foolish from the wisdom of silent inaction and silence in action.

You got your gun, boy, and she’s pregnant. I hope she was willing and cooperative, pleased with your treatment. May she not have menstruated too lavishly, beforehand. May she not bleed too freely giving birth. May you have given due cognizance to your mutual bloodlines and the good mixing. Hybrid vigor is widely distributed and not to be despised. Don’t shoot your mouth off ignorantly about race. All our ancestors were human even before they looked like us.

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