I dreamed I took a gun to yoga class.
At first I didn't know I had it. I realized I was weighted down and reaching into the pocket of my winter coat found it. A Smith and Wesson 9 mm, I believe. In fact, it was a Smith a Wesson 9 mm. I know because I held the same model not so long ago. I took it out and put it on the rack alongside everyone else's.
The actual yoga part of the dream was more like a Lady Gaga video and I never needed the gun, I didn't know why I brought it.
Last October we went to an art gallery in the Faubourg Marigny for an art shoot. The concept was "Choose your Weapon," but we didn't know at first.
Our friend was visiting. When we got to the studio, New Orleans Police Officers stood guarding the door. Inside was a table of weapons -handguns, rifles, semiautomatics, tazers, mace, a large rock and a baseball bat. A giant American flag was draped across the wall. They wanted us to take up a weapon and stand in front of the flag.
We tested out the guns. The semiautomatic was a bit clunky and I settled for a pearl-handled revolver that matched my pearl bracelet; he took up the baseball bat. Our friend, whose Argentine husband thinks Americans are crazy, picked up a rifle.
A politician in a suit was being photographed with a rock and we brushed up on our weaponry knowledge. Which weapon, we wondered, was most practical? You know, like if we were actually interested in owning a gun. The cops said the 9 mm is good -it's lightweight, easily concealed and a straight shot. My friend and I giggled. Never in a million years had we imagined spending Saturday afternoon this way.
That same day and back at home, our friend -I'll call him Ted -, came by the apartment. Ted teaches science at a New Orleans public school. Still totally bewildered, my friend and I explained to Ted about the practical gun -the 9 mm lightweight easily concealed sure shot.
"You mean this one?" he said. Reaching into his pants, he pulled out a Smith and Wesson 9 mm.
Yeah, like that one.
We held his gun, timid, it was loaded.
Still, I don't think that's why I had the dream.
The night before that dream I'd written a letter to Constance McMillen, the lesbian teen in Mississippi whose prom was cancelled because she asked to bring her girlfriend. The letter was on behalf of a group of writers and was sent along with a book of short stories we wanted her to have. I had fun with the letter. It was admittedly high-flown to thank her for her bravery on behalf of the whole world, but it is spring and I get carried away.
Or, maybe the dream was because for six Saturday nights in a row someone sprayed the street outside our house with bullets -the street I love.
They never hit anyone.
The shootings happened every Saturday night for six weeks. Most of them occurred at the exact same time, 12:27 am.
You heard the bullets spraying, you heard running on pavement, then a car peeling away -that's what I was told after the first night. I was out, but Ted was over and they were hanging out.