Friday, October 27, 2006


The bullet sheared off the head of his penis – clean as a chopped carrot – in shape though much more effusive in texture; like a split garden cherry tomato oozing with greenish seeds everywhere.

Slyvia was aiming for his balls – she wanted to shoot at least one of them – but the gun went off just a microsecond sooner that she’d expected. A quiver of the trigger - a flinch really – and the bullet was away, expelled through the dark tunnel like portal that was the barrel of the gun. Traveling at a muzzle velocity of 1,000 feet per second spiraling. A reflexive response, not premeditated, Sylvia pointed the square black semi-automatic Glock at “The Kurt” and at all the other “Kurts” before and after this one. She fingered the silver curve of the trigger like a penis.

The cauterizing heat of the lead that snipped off the head of “The Kurt’s” penis head sealed the wound almost instantly, with very little blood to show for it. “The Kurt” grabbed for his crotch, eyes bulging like that of a hooked fish. Stumbling backwards, “The Kurt” sat down at a table, mouth fully formed in disbelief in an “O” shape.

The trigger still within her finger’s reach, Sylvia knew the fierce pull of blood – she felt reckless, like a broken levy, pouring out everywhere. Reckless, but strong. “The Kurt” would not try that again. He would think twice. Sylvia was breathless with strength. For the first time through the haze of her mental illness, through the medications and all the counseling, Sylvia felt empowered. “The Kurt”, however, only breathed in heavily, swore in shock, in fear, in shock more so. For the first time, Sylvia knew that the obsession had been worth it. She waited the requisite five days for a gun background check, where they would skip over the doctors and the hospitalization. She went down to the local NRA chapter where other “Kurts” – ones with large hands and beefy sideburns showed her how to turn the gun safety on and off. How to clean her gun. How to load it. How to hone the trigger. Sylvia knew the obsession was worth it. In her head, she saw the bullet tear through soft mushroom flesh of “The Kurt’s” penis head, pulling, pulling at it. Stretching it until blood vessel walls tore away, like pulling soft bread – until the tissue would not hold together.

“The Kurt” was disintegrating at the molecular level right before Sylvia’s eyes. She saw the spinning bullet pass through white gelatinous flesh – through the space where his two thighs met – between the space like a football field goal, between the uprights, into the wooden floor behind him in the coffee shop.

It was a fragment sentence of one morning when Sylvia walked into the coffee shop. A moment and she could have turned the other way, walked down toward Main Street, to the Starbucks that was there. She could have been late or been sick, or decided to take the day off instead. She could have gone in early to work, on the 32nd floor, north side of the building, cubicle 12C, 5 rows down past the copier that always broke down and drove Sylvia crazy.

But this was an abbreviated event. A decimal point really in a day of contiguous lines. It was an event that took only 18 seconds to transpire and as such no one in the shop moved, except, as already noted, for “The Kurt”, who stumbled back and found a chair. Slyvia tucked the Glock into her oversized purse, fingering the trigger like she was stirring coffee. She turned and walked out, and no one moved until finally the barrista called 911.

In time, “The Kurt” – whose real name was Adam –would be fine. With prosthetics and the advances of plastic surgery, Adam would date again, needing to relate the story over and over to some unsuspecting woman who only wanted a little romance, a little fun in the sack. When she saw his penis, she would be aghast, and Adam would blush, and then the story would be told again. Sylvia made a left out of the door, smelled the cool autumn air and moved dreamlike toward the bus stop.


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