I poured myself a tumbler full of Jack Daniels, and sat down in my favorite chair. I took a sip of my liquor and pondered my existence, as I looked around my home, which was a 14 foot camp trailer. Would I be missed? No, I thought. There is no one left that cares what happens to me, including an ex-wife, two kids, and four grand kids.
I took another sip of my whiskey and picked up my blue Smith and Wesson, model 19, .357 with a six inch barrel. I opened the cylinder and carefully loaded six semi-jacketed hollow points into the waiting weapon. Each bullet slid into its nest smoothly. A perfect fit. I closed the cylinder and locked it into place. I have planned this day for months, and I want it perfect. No mistakes as there would be no do overs.
I laughed aloud as I recalled that I had purchased this gun from one of my cop friends, who incidentally, killed himself this year. Talk about irony.
What I was about to do was against everything I had ever learned in life. I had always been strong, but now I am weak. I spent my youth in a whirl wind of fuckups. I had committed minor crimes and major sins. I had violated at least five of the Ten Commandments, and was pretty sure I was headed straight to Hell. The thought of going to Hell caused me to pause. Do I really want to go to Hell today? Fuck it, Hell couldn’t be any worse than my life.
I spent four years in the Marine Corps as a young man. My last three were in Vietnam. I killed the enemy but did not come home with a chest full of medals. I was an average Marine, which by other people’s standards, was way above average. Instead of the conquering hero, I came home to people despising me for serving my country. They called me baby killer. I never killed any babies. The transition back to civilian life was difficult until I secured a position with a metropolitan police department.
I wasn’t sure, but I may have got the job because no one else would have me, but I was made for the job. I was a pretty good cop, but a lousy employee. At least that is what my chief told me once. I did find that in the 60’s and 70’s people hated cops worse than ex-military. What the hell, they made me feel at home. At least I had my brother officers. The streets were as mean as depicted in the news. Murders, rapes, assaults, burglaries, stickups, and the worst of all, family troubles, was the daily diet of the street cop. I was tied to the job more than anything else in my life. I had no civilian friends and drank too much. I smoked cigarettes and cigars and ran around with wild women. I even had a few hookers who would throw me a quickie any time I wanted it.
When I married, I thought my life would change for the better. We had a nice ceremony, a hell of a party and an enjoyable honeymoon. The first several months were great, but things went downhill when the job became too much for my wife. I suppose I could have changed more, but the job meant more to me than anything. My brother officers were the only people who understood what I was going through.
The answer was close at hand, I thought. I needed to have children. That would give me something in common with the average man and placate my need to carry on the family name. We ended up having three. When they were infants I would spend all of my home time with them. Watching them walk and then talk was a miracle to me. It was the happiest five years of my life.
Our third child died shortly after being born and my wife decided she didn’t want to have any more. I was in total agreement. I scheduled a vasectomy. I thought would satisfy my wife’s objection to more children. Apparently she had a better idea. She just quit having sex with me. It took me a while to find out she was having sex with other men instead.
No problem. I found a few groupies and reconnected with my hooker friends. I was back to having regular sex. I started drinking heavily again and spent more time away from home than at home.
My wife got a job at a topless bar and got a full time live in baby sitter for the kids. Neither of us was home very often. It was just a matter of time until we finally got divorced. Through the years she convinced all of our children that I was the devil and I didn’t get to see them after they were old enough to make up their own mind. I lived in poverty while I struggled with child support.
I lived in squalor my remaining years on the department. I had no family, no civilian friends and was slowly alienating my fellow cops. I was bitter and angry, so I retired.
I finished off the glass of whiskey and picked up the revolver again. I practiced putting the barrel in my mouth. I needed to make it right the first time. I didn’t want to end up a vegetable. I poured myself another glass of Jack and eased back into my chair. Feeling sorry for myself wasn’t anything new for me.
Since my retirement, the government took aim at my retirement package. My pension was cut in half and the prospect of any health insurance is nil. I found out a week ago that I have cancer and there is no way I can have it treated under the current Government guidelines.
I know I brought all this on myself, but I fought for my country and stood up against criminals to protect society from danger and now I am sitting in my fucking camp trailer about to blow my head off and head straight to Hell.
I finished my glass of whiskey and pulled the gun up to my mouth. This is it. I am on my way out. Dear Lord, please take me to you and if you could, make sure I don’t shit myself.
I put the gun into my mouth. I pushed the barrel deep into my throat, as far as I could without gagging. I wanted to make sure that I blew out my brain stem. I wanted death to come instantly. I started to sweat and my hand began to shake. Was it fear that I felt? It was, but not of dying, it was where I was headed, Heaven or Hell. I cocked the gun and had one final thought. God, forgive me my sins and forgive me for taking my own life. Jamming the barrel further into my throat, I squeezed the trigger.
The hammer slammed down. The firing pin struck the primer full force. The primer should have exploded and ignited the powder in the bullets casing. It did not fire. I gagged and vomited the gun out of my mouth. The gun fell to the floor. There was an explosion as the gun went off. The bulled carried through the thin walls of my camp trailer and into oblivion. The gun was lying on a newspaper and seemed to be pointing to a specific article. The article said “Election today, be sure and vote.”
I know this is a sign from God. I needed to go out and vote, to do my part to save my country. I got up and went to clean up. I had to go out and vote.