Monday, February 23, 2009
All is wild , All is silent
It's what i asked for because all my friends had one. My Dad didn't think it would do any harm. Me having a bb gun. So on my 10th birthday i unwrapped my first gift, a heavy little tube filled with bb's (ammo) and so i knew what the oddly wrapped item was leaning against the wall.
All those bb's I shot back home, there must be thousands of them still stuck in trees and buried in dirt. shooting up bottles, paint and beer cans, paper targets, i got to be a really good shot. Sometimes, i got the urge for something more game, more alive and i would take aim at a small animal. Directing it in my sights my finger pressed to the trigger the thinking in my head being fire- fire- fire. But, I'd suddenly be overcome with guilt and horrible sorrow. Instead id shoot the dirt and scare the animal away. life and death in my hands with no one looking but the sky and the holy ghosts. It was to much for me to handle, the temptation and not knowing what death really was. It would have been so easy but it so wasn't easy. Something to beautiful always stopping me, the fur of a squirrel, the feather of a bird and although i wanted to see it up close, make it still to study it- feel what dead was. I was to scared.
My father would tell me stories of killing in the war, somewhere over in a hot jungle and that when he was only 17. My grandfather had stories too, but he was on a Navy destroyer ship shooting down dive bombing planes. Being a kid, i only assumed id be in a war too. I'd have to kill an enemy like my father had and his father and his before. War, i thought was a part of a man's life. Killing didn't seem an option and i would sit up nights thinking about this, wondering if I could kill or how it would feel if i were to be killed. what is it going to be like?. why did i have to go kill and what if i didn't want to?. I went to catholic school where they told me killing was a sin.
I shot in the air not really aiming at the bird, but shooting anyway. I thought the bird to high, to far away, to fast , to anything until i saw it helicopter down. Until I ran over to where it had fallen in the grass by a tree. It was broken. The bird was shiny black with a beautiful red. It's eyes were open, there was no blood but it was death quiet and still. looking in it's watery eyes with my watery eyes. It was a mistake, i didn't mean to. I wasn't aiming.... i wasn't really aiming. I prayed for forgiveness. I dug a hole near the tree. I carried it over, it felt light in my hand. I covered it then made a cross out of sticks and placed it on top of the dirt. It's where i buried my shame, my mortal sin.
It's where i left my gun against the tree, out in the rain for days and days. Where my Father found it all rusty and I got yelled at for ruining it. I was hit and punished for not taking care of my things. For not caring.