My First Gun
A Love Story
For my 21st birthday, my boyfriend bought me a gun. It was something that had been building up for a while — months before, we had begun taking his personal arsenal out into the boonies past Bakersfield, California to shoot at cans collected during both his and my solo drinking binges. All his guns were Man Guns, though, and the smallest caliber he owned was a .45. After seeing me miss pretty much all but the very first target he set up, as well as almost having my nose broken and my shoulder torn out by recoil, Tim decided it was time for me to get my own gun.
[[gun]]There’s a fifteen-day waiting period in California for purchasing firearms, so after selecting a gun for me — a neat little snub-nose .357 Luger — Tim spent nearly the entire fifteen days coaching me on proper gun use, making me break down automatic pistols, rifles, and revolvers in near-pitch dark and reassemble them, inhaling clouds of sicksweet solvent as I scraped black soot from the chrome muzzle of his grandfather’s service revolver, memorizing anecdotes of gun mishandlings to pass along to the other gun nuts I worked with to seem like a well-informed gun user. Tim drew complex schematics of the gun I was getting on soiled McDonald’s napkins for me to commit to memory, and I did, until I knew more about the makeup of guns than most people who’d owned one all their lives. This was all happening in the immediate aftermath of the L.A. riots, too, so part of the Grand Scheme was to make me a good enough gunslinger that if anything happened in my neighborhood, I’d be able to hold my own.
To make things more interesting, Tim made up this game to teach me how to disarm my future revolver successfully. He’d fill the chambers of his revolver, close it, and pass it to me, and make me cock back the hammer and point it at his crotch. I was to slowly, slowly lower the hammer of the gun down until it rested on the head of the round, and if I did it right, the gun wouldn’t go off. “If you love me, you won’t blow my dick off,” he’d say. “If you don’t, then I guess I won’t be needing it anyway.” I did it fine the first time, even though he was yelling, “Do it! Do it!” the whole time and I was bawling my head off.
It got easier after that, except Tim’s timing was way always off. We’d be all settled down to do our usual routine of doing lines and fucking to pornos, and suddenly, he’d pull the gun out. “Have you been practicing?” he’d ask, sternly. “I don’t have to worry about you blowing my nuts off here, do I?” I’d, of course, try to explain that he wouldn’t have to worry about his cock around me at all if he’d just put the gun away, but he’d do something or another that’d make me play along, like threaten to withhold sex, or just leave.
This all lasted for maybe six months. Then disaster struck (ba-ba-BUM). I had spent most of the evening rearranging furniture in my apartment, totally sober, when I thought I’d take a break to play with my gun. I sat on the edge of my bed and pointed the gun at my closed closet doors. I cocked the hammer back, slowly, and just as slowly lowered it on the head of the round, hands completely steady. And the gun went off.
It didn’t even register, at first, what had happened. For a few seconds, I was deaf, and then all I could hear was ringing. I remember seeing a blue spark or flame jump out of the muzzle, and a small hole appear in the closet door across from me. I got up and opened the door, and there was a hole in the wall inside the closet. My two cats stumbled out when I opened the door, absolutely terrified. I went into the bathroom, and there was a hole in there, too — if my laundry basket hadn’t been sitting exactly where it was, I probably would have blown up my toilet, too. Luckily, it was California, and guns went off in my neighborhood all the time, so no one called the police on me.
Tim never did ask me to point a gun at his crotch again. I stopped keeping the gun loaded in my house, and it eventually moved from its place under my bed to a box in the closet. A few months later, when I left Tim behind to go to school in Florida, I passed the gun, holster, speed loaders, and locking, airline-friendly case on to my best friend’s sister, who had been in the service and worked as a police officer. And that’s the end of my gun story.