Friday night knife and g.., p.1

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Friday Night Knife and Gun Club

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Friday Night Knife and Gun Club

  Friday Night Knife and Gun Club

  Linda Collison

  Copyright 2013 Linda Collison

  Welcome to my dystopia. This is the Wild West, baby, where everybody and his bitch packs heat. Hell, even the teachers and nurses are armed and can stand their ground.

  Friday Night Knife and Gun Club

  by Linda Collison

  Ten twenty-five P.M. It’s snowing like hell, defroster turned up as high as she’ll go, ice on the wiper blades, I can’t see for shit. It’s another Friday night, my weekend to work, and they’re predicting the blizzard of the century. You’d think people would stay home on a night like this but everybody and their brother is out, stocking up on necessities -- donuts, diapers, toilet paper, beer -- in case they’re snowed in tomorrow. I’ve got me a tank; this baby’ll get through anything. Burns gas but she’s reliable. I mean, you’ve got to get to work, right? Kids are at home, alone, but I keep an eye on them with my iCam app. They’ve got their phones, they’ve got their games, they’ve got each other. They’ll be alright.

  Wyatt’s in charge, there’s a Glock-17 under the bed and believe-you-me he knows how to use it. Calamity doesn’t have the hand strength yet to load a gun and release the safety, nor is she mature enough to be trusted with one. But she insists on sleeping with her own weapon -- a butcher knife -- under her pillow in case her big brother is sleeping when they break in. Even at her age she knows a knife can be every bit as deadly as a firearm. And in case all hell breaks loose, in case the war starts when I’m not home, old man Henderson lives next door. I see the light from his television as I’m leaving for work. Henderson’s got an arsenal in his house. He’s prepared for the Second Coming, a meth addict, or a G-man who might come knocking at his door to take away his inalienable rights. This is the wild, Wild West baby, you better believe it.

  The snow plows are out in force. Chink, chink, chink, sounds like jingle bells but Christmas is over, except for the bills. The wind’s come up, the snow is already drifting across the pavement the plow just cleared. I’m glad I’ve got four wheel drive and big ass tires on this bitch.

  Now I’m pulling up to my place of employment, High Plains Trauma and Medical Center, I see two ambulances parked on the Emergency ramp, and one pulling away. Nights like this are always the worst, you’d think people would just find someplace warm, curl up and go to sleep. I sure as hell would, if I didn’t have to work. Bears hibernate, why can’t we? Looks like the visitor parking lot is completely full which means we’ll have families camping out in the halls, kids crying, cell phones ringing, coffee pot on all night long. The Emergency Department is the main portal to the Inferno, and there are more circles of hell in this dark tower than Dante ever dreamed of. But don’t let my morbid sense of humor, stained by the blood and guts of my profession fool you. Deep inside my pink heart weeps.

  Park my four wheeled beast in the lot reserved for Attending Physicians Only. Won’t be any of them in here on a night like this. It’ll be house staff in the trenches with us tonight. At least we’ve got a good group of yearlings who know enough to listen to us. And a really sharp second-year surgical resident. Confident but not cocky. She knows her shit, she’s on the ball, she can take the heat.

  Getting out of my car now, I’m always aware of my surroundings. Lock up, lights flash, beep-beep. Keys in my pocket, I touch the butt of my Smith and Wesson swinging at my right hip. For reassurance. Walking through the parking garage can be one of the most dangerous parts of the shift. Even with ten security guards on duty -- it’s a big medical center -- they can’t be everywhere at once. My new holster matches my Kevlar, I ordered them online from my favorite nursing supply store, Scrubs and More. So stylish and comfortable; the vest even has a pocket to carry extra clips.

  “Cause I wanna be a cowboy, baby.” I’m singing that old Kid Rock song, my stethoscope looped around my neck like an urban cowboy’s bolo tie. I’m wearing my new boots, cute white cowboy boots with arch support and memory foam insteps -- great for riding in the saddle or running the hospital halls. Got them from Scrubs and More too. Boots and guns, it’s a western thing, part of our culture. Who we are. Our little TICU victory rap we do when we discharge a patient to go to some lesser level of care -- goes like this:

  We’re Trauma nurses, don’t fuck with us

  Bad ass, uh-huh! That’s us, oh, yeah!

  We can save your life or we can burn you down

  Bad ass, uh-huh! That’s us, oh yeah!

  (There’s a little booty shake that goes with that, and a thing we do with our hands.)
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