Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Child Sniper at the Diner

Something that has me a bit uneasy in public here is the amount of gun-wielders out in the streets. I'm a peace-loving hippy to the core. Although I believe they can be used responsibly, guns happen to be the cause of enough anguish in the world for them not to be worthwhile. Period. I respect if you feel differently, but the likelihood is, you're not a part of the problem anyway.
After turning in my final grades at the university, Maddy, a professor friend and I, went for cappuccinos. As we sat, chatting over deliciousness, Maddy looked up and said, "Look behind you."
I turned to see a child, probably eight years old, standing on the second-story balcony of a strip mall across the parking lot with a cell phone and a gun. He casually aimed the gun at cars passing by, following them up the street as they passed and finding a new target when they disappeared into the distance. After a few minutes of this, he spotted us. It only took about 30 seconds of him aiming at us to decide to quietly move off the patio and into the diner, out of the little sniper's sight. I've never been concerned about keeping my innards in tact. An unusual feeling indeed.
Believe it or not, Maddy and I continued our conversation calmly when she looked up and said, "SniperChild is here." I glanced back through the window and up to the balcony where he'd been. "No," she said pointing her eyes, "at the table." Sure enough, he'd made his way into the empty diner--it was just him and us. He laid his gun on the table, pointed straight at us. At that point, we packed up and headed to the cash register to pay for our lovely coffees, served with a side of fear. The employees of the diner didn't seemed fazed by ChildSniper in the least. As I stood at the register, I turned to SniperChild and smiled. He waved at me.
Two new patrons walked in and he slipped the gun under his coat, out of sight. We walked out calmly. As soon as we were at a safe distance, my whole body shook, releasing the queasiness that had built up in me. And it all begs the question: Was it real?

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