Before I begin this post, I want to take a quick moment to talk about gun safety. A friend of mine, a 35 year officer, shot himself while cleaning his gun several years ago. He survived but it taught me a valuable lesson. When I clean my gun and magazines, I place my bullets in another room. As officers we become too complacent with our weapons and that’s when accidents happen. Now on with my story.
I’m a football widow. It’s been that way for 33 years and you would think I’d get over it. I’m not simply talking all day Sunday, its Monday nights, and Thursday nights too. My husband coaches 7th grade football and he plays in two NFL fantasy leagues.
In our game room there is an entire wall dedicated to the Oakland Raiders. Don’t mention LA Raiders anywhere near my husband or you are likely to be tackled. That was a very dark time in his life.
When my children were young and playing competitive sports, my husband would tell them they had Raider blood. As you can see his enthusiasm runs deep.
I try to spend my widowhood wisely; I write, I read, and I complain. He ignores me because he’s too busy getting his exercise running back and forth between the television and his computer in the office; must check those points and must rearrange those players. My Ipad and laptop are off limits to him because he becomes violent and jumps around a lot depending on what’s happening in a game. I’m also happy when the cooler weather sets in and I can close the windows during games. Him screaming, “Go baby go,” cannot sound good to our neighbors.
I’ve always cleaned my gun once a month after range day. I put a vinyl tablecloth down at the kitchen table and then use a few sections of old newspaper to absorb spills and splashes.
A couple of years ago, once a week on Sundays, and only during football season, I began cleaning my gun every week down at the coffee table next to my husband and the seasonal love of his life.
While I lay down the newspaper, a jar of solvent, brushes, cotton swatches, and oil he doesn’t even look over. I slowly and methodically, with soft supple hands, dismantle Clint (Glock 35 .40 caliber) named after Dirty Harry, the love of my life during football season.
I adoringly run my brush through the barrel and then using the cotton swatches make sure I get in between the crack of each separate part. I’m incredibly tender. I use a few drops of lubricant and make sure I have a gentle gliding feel. My hands are steady as I stroke the long cylinder. In my fingers the coldness turns to warmth. I place one drop of lubricant on each rear slide rail and massage it forward to the front slide rails. This relaxes me though my menopausal hot flashes seem to come more often during these sessions.
After Clint’s insides have shattered; slowly, ever so slowly, I place his pieces back together. Each part is a perfect fit. When my husband jumps up from the couch and cries out, I’m placing each piece in its proper slot and match him with silent words of my own, “Come baby come.” I’m in my own little world.
My hand grasps the slide rail and release, I pull it back. Strongly gripping Clint, my arms extend and my eye lines up with the front sight. I take a deep breath and as the air slowly leaves my lungs, my finger makes slow steady pressure on the trigger.
“CLICK” I shoot Tom Brady in the ass. “Slide CLICK” I shoot Clay Mathews in the knee. “Slide CLICK” I shoot Charles Woodson in the arm.
My husband jumps up and runs into the other room ruining my fantasy. Our television is still in one piece, the players continue to pat each other on the butt getting all the fun, and I’m still a widow. But, for those thirty-minutes it’s the most stimulating feeling in the world.