front

 

 

1950

We crashed bumper cars, Flannery O'Connor and I. Across the would-be wreckage our eyes met. Later, she handed me an air rifle and told me to shoot. She wanted something she could take home to her mother. Two pellets missed (one nearly hit the games operator). The third clipped the side of a tin cowboy, but he didn't fall. Where did you learn to shoot, she asked. I'm not from around here, I told her. Northerner, born and bred. She smiled. Well you gave it your best shot, she said, and kissed me, half on the mouth half on the cheek, and then walked off into the cotton candy haze.

 

 

1988