Memoir 2.2

by Larry Strattner

People reading his Memoirs would want to see a picture. People always want to see what you look like, even if it's only to gawk and point at the carnage.

He got out the shoe box. Like most people, he had a shoebox full of stupid pictures. One was of him with a monkey. Just after Al snapped the shutter the fucking monkey tried to tear his face off. He took care of the little shit though. Kicked him right in the family coconuts. The organ grinder was pissed. He and Al outran the little twerp while the monkey's howls receded to distant offended squeaks.

Moving along he looked for institutional or yearbook photos. Nothing. His educational career had not yielded a yearbook picture inscribed, “Dear…” or “I'll never forget …” He was no one's dearie. He was also forgettable. Nor did he have a corporate head shot with subtle retouching. His company didn't take pictures of people working out of the janitorial suite.

He ran across a picture of Al's ass in the backseat of a Rambler American. Al had not been happy with the camera angle and had threatened to kill him. He laid low for a while. Anyway, you couldn't see Al's paramour's face clearly. The incident prompted him to consider Private Investigations as a career path.

He had taken a number of pictures of himself in recent years. Each was worse than the one before. The kids called these selfies. Most kids look stupid in their selfies. No camera angle can catch a good side of stupid.

Al took a picture of him holding his three fifty seven. It seemed a little, how do they say, inappropriate? In an attempt to defeat his urge to kill deserving people he'd changed half his rounds in the three fifty seven's cylinder to wad cutters, a kind of paper bullet. It's unlikely one of these would kill you. Maybe justifiably scramble you up a little. He tried to keep the less lethal rounds positioned so one came up first when he cocked the pistol. But you never know. He was as capable as anyone of making a mistake.

Finally, a likely picture shuffled past. He went back to it, him picking cherries high in the branches of a friend's tree. It was worse than a selfie, but it was benign. You couldn't see the pistol he remembered had been stuck in the back of his pants. He looked at the colors in the photo, lots of green with little ripe red spots all around him on the fecund tree. Blue sky shone in the background. He wondered how he had managed to not shoot at least one of his ass cheeks off carrying a gun in back of his pants. Dumb luck probably. His face among the cherries looked as if he were turning into a kinder gentler person. Some of the stuff he was doing might have been working. Even so, the ladder he was on seemed neither safe nor steady. His friends and enemies would both get a kick out of his obviously tenuous perch among the tree branches, each hoping, for various reasons, he would fall.

His 2.2 Memoirs seemed to be taking on an aura of danger.