“So what did you want from me,” The Brit asked.
“God don’t make it sound like I’m asking for a kidney,” I said with a laugh.
“Alright what can I do for you,” he asked.
“I bought a rifle and a scope. I was hoping I could get you to mate them and zero the scope in for thirty yards or so.” I said.
“You have to know where you want it Silvie. The parallax view will cause it to be off at any other range.” he said.
“Make it thirty-five yards then and I will guesstimate the rest,” I said.
“My advice go with the SWAG system,” he said.
“Yeah Scientific Wild Ass Guess,” I agreed.
“Do you have it with you,” he asked.
I opened the back of the car and took the rifle out. “Here you go,” I said.
“I’ll have it for you in the morning, when you come to help with the bar,” he said.
“You don’t have to rush,” I advised him.
“I want to do it this afternoon while Jeremy sulks,” he said with a smile.
“He still wants to move back to capitol city?” I asked.
“Yeah, but it’s his choice, I’m staying right here,” The Brit informed me.
You want me to come along?” I asked.
“No, I would really like to be alone,” he said firmly.
“Okay, I’ll get the rifle in the morning,” I said.
The Brit had the equipment to bore sight the rifle. He would project a laser through the bore and then focus the scope just above it. The distance above it would be the the amount of drop one would expect at thirty-five yards. There was a mathematical formula for it.
It I shot the rifle at a target twenty yards away it would come in a little low, and if I shot at fifty yards it would be a little high. That was the parallax view rule. I didn’t plan to shoot anything so small that an inch or two would be the difference between my life or death.
The Brit left with my rifle, and I left with an empty cruiser van. I drove back to the box house feeling all alone. So The Brit could see that Jeremy wasn’t going to be happy in County Seat, even so he had bought a building, He was planning to build a pub, and I was going to help him. So fuck you very much Jeremy, I thought.
When I got home the place was just as I left it. I had to rummage through all the sofa frame storage boxes before I found my hair trimmer. I unpacked the plastic case with the trimmer and accessories. I found the squeeze tube of oil in the case, so I lubed the blades. I attached the long cutter guard. The guard turned the electric razor into a trimmer. I took a drink of the shine and started the motor. When I cut my hair all off before, I was in a different place than at that moment. I wanted it to look like something this time. The last time I hadn’t cared.
I ran the trimmer over my head several time, and in every possible angle. When I was finished I ran my hand over it to be sure I hadn’t missed any. Of course I had to run over a few spots again to even it up.
When I finished the cut, I took off all my clothes and stepped into the shower stall. I lathered my hair several times and rinsed it as well. It was free of all oil when I finished. It also stood almost straight up and in a butch cut. It was an inch long around my ears as well as ragged in the back. Since I couldn’t see to run the razor over those spots I just left them ragged.
It was a mess but my hair was thin enough that it would adapt I was sure. It didn’t look any worse than the punk cuts I had seen around. Hell some women paid a hundred bucks for their hair to look this bad, I thought.
I used the built in web cam on my computer to take picture of my new hair cut. I decided that if I wore eye make up and lipstick I would look like a punk female. If no make up, an effeminate gay guy. And if I didn’t bind my breast, I could keep them guessing. So I had three completely different looks, which I could change with no more tan an elastic bandage and five dollar worth of makeup. Pretty cool was my final thought on it.
I took a good look at my club hand. I had about 60% range of movement after a year of squeezing the tennis ball whenever I could. I still couldn’t make the hand close completely. If I held anything in it’s grip, it was just as likely to wind up on the floor as to stay in the hand. It was not a part of my body I could count on any more. I noted this because it had been useless in trimming my hair. Oh well I had no choice, but to work with what I had.
Since my thumb and first finger wouldn’t meet I could half ass grip the rifle’s forearm but it wasn’t very secure. I knew I was going to have to figure it out if I ever planned to use the rifle. I still had the 12guage pump gun, which was pretty much useless at the moment. I knew I had to begin spending more time with the firearms.
I knew I was a danger not only to myself, but to others as well. Swamp Dog picked missions in an urban setting for me. Sharp and shiny weapons or hand guns were needed in those situations nothing more. In a field environment the lack of grip in my left hand would be a problem. Somehow Swamp Dog had allowed me to work without being 100%. I wondered if I wasn’t more dangerous than helpful to my partners though.
I needed to prove to myself that I could adapt to any situation. To do that I had to be able to fire any type weapon. Maybe not be great with it, but at least hit what I was aiming at. So I decided to go back to the gun store and pick up a shotgun that I could use. But it wouldn’t be anytime soon.
I ordered a pizza and then drove to the plaza for it. I could buy a frozen one, which was okay for a pizza and salad at home now and then. The frozen pizza made a good bread stick but sucked as a pizza. The pizza restaurant made a good take out pizza. Not that garbage can type with everything on it. Those were too damn mixed up to be good in my opinion. I did however like a couple of the meat ones. That night I ordered a sausage pizza to pick up. I drove to the reservoir to eat it just as the sun was going down.
After that I went back to the house. It was warm in the house, but not enough to bother with all the fans. It was about to cool off anyway, so I just crawled into bed early for a change. Even so I had no trouble falling asleep.
At five fifteen my body woke up. It made no difference whether I went to bed at midnight or 10PM, I was up around 5AM anyway. I climbed on the two wheeler at five thirty and rode it all over the area till 7:30 AM when I stopped for breakfast. I ate quickly and rode home to change. I didn’t bother to shower, I just went to work at the two story downtown brick building.
I could have showered since Tomas and The Brit didn’t get there until almost 9AM. They had been at the Home Depot picking up Lumber and Hardware for the bar. In the back of the SUV sat a cardboard box which was marked 10“ Table saw. Unlike me The Brit was serious about his place. It didn’t matter to me, since I was just a laborer and gopher.
The Brit and Tomas talked in Spanish about plans for a wall to separate the kitchen from the rest of it. I sat in a folding chair drinking coffee. I made the coffee in my old coffee maker, which The Brit had brought from home. Jeremy probably had a fancier one at the apartment.
The Brit and Tomas were cutting 2×4 boards to some magical size I didn’t understand, when two men in work clothes arrived. “So are these the floors,” the older one asked.
“Yeah, all the way back to where we are working.” The Brit explained.
“We are going to have to scrape that tile up and see what’s under it,” the older man said.
“You do that but it’s hardwood. I have no idea what condition it is in, but that’s what you are here to tell me.” he said.
After they left he said to me. “They are supposed to be hardwood flooring experts. They fucking better be.” I laughed and drank my coffee.
By noon The Brit and Tomas had a list of hardware they needed. They also had a lunch order. I went out and got both. When I returned Jeremy was in the building. He was wearing one of those cotton particle masks. There Tomas and the Brit were cutting the boards with no mask, while Jeremy was prancing around looking like something from a bad Japanese movie. But I held my tongue.
The flooring guys had been contacted sometime before that day for sure. They came in and measured the space for the bar and gave The Brit a price to remove the tile first, then clean the floor of glue residue. No matter what was under the tile that had to be done.
He must have agreed to whatever they said to him in private, because they began to work with scrapers digging up the tile. That took all after noon, but we could see the glue covered hard wood floors by 4PM when Tomas left.
I was ready to go home when The Brit changed hats metaphorically speaking and took my rifle from the rear of his truck. “It seems to be a nice little gun, but I’m not sure you will be able to hold it steady enough with that hand,” he said not sparing my feelings.
“What do you suggest?” I asked.
“Well have you seen the forearms that are a pistol grip?” he asked.
“ Sure and that sounds like a good idea,. I could hold a large one in my fucked up grip. I could at least hold it well enough to work the bolt. Then I could brace it against something as well. ” I agreed.
“Tomas and I can probably rig you something one day,” The Brit suggested.
We might could figure out something that wouldn’t have to damage the gun itself.”
“That doesn’t matter. It wasn’t all that expensive. Just make it so I can steady the gun and work the bolt without totally losing the sight picture.” I said as I put the gun in the back of the cruiser van.
I drove home with plans to stay home and do my boring home things. It was just another day in County Seat and the box house for me. I went to bed knowing that the next day would be more or less a repeat of that day. Everyday for a while was just going to be like the one before it. I found that I no longer had a problem with that. To be honest it was how I felt at the time, but soon I would need my life or death moment fix. Damn I knew it was fucked up, but I couldn’t stop it. I didn’t help a bit that I knew there were others like me. Even The Brit couldn’t do more than understand it. Not even he could stop it. Hell he would probably be beside me.