It can’t be her, obviously. She is my sunshine. Every day I plunge my miserable soul into the neon plasma and begin again. Sometimes it doesn’t take, and I scuttle around the floor of my invisible cage like Kafka’s cockroach. Like when I consider that she could have had anything, and she chose me. Mostly, though, I’m stunned and beaten up with all this light.
“Stop and let me take your picture,” I called out.
“Okay, here I am with my rifle,” she said.
She has a rifle, actually. A beautiful Iver Johnson single-shot .410 shotgun that belonged to her mother. One day early on her father took her mother out hunting with the then-new gun. Pulling the trigger for the first time, she shot a squirrel right out of the tree. “Okay, that’s it,” she said, and put the weapon down.
Only reason I’m alive, boys, only reason I’m alive.