Insight for Sore Eyes

A sniper is what I have become, took a long time but it was worth tax payers dollars and a life of loneliness, until now. Now as I lay on my deathbed, with a bullet lodged where it cannot be reached, a place where I never thought I would be, the tax payers dollars are now working to keep me alive.

I was a small kid on the farm, my 9 other brothers would laugh whenever I held the rifle, watched and grasped their sides as the recoil of the gun sent me to the ground each time. Of course I never gave up, it was after a few years of practice with the rifle that I began to shoot the targets I aimed for, and began killing animals. In fact, I was better then all of them, I showed them, they lost interest in it, so they gave it to me. I remember the first time I killed something with it. I had spent the day out in the woods, placing a target on a tree, farther and farther out as each hour passed. It was right before sunset when I was about to pack it in and head home, but I caught it scurrying up the fence post on the boarder of our property. It had a nut in its mouth, and began to penetrate the hard exterior without a care in the world. I figured it would have scampered off at the sound of the rifle being cocked back, but it just sniffed the air, and continued on with food on its mind. The animal was a good 250 yards away, so I adjusted my scope accordingly. The animal dropped to the ground, no chance to move after the pull of the trigger, the nut was left rolling on the fencepost as I lowered the rifle. My dad had told me, “If you’re going to kill an animal, make sure it is dead, it’s not a waste of another bullet to put the animal out of its misery”. I loaded the rifle again, and ran to the fence; it was still flopping around on the ground before my final shot.

Being a sniper, remorse lives with you a long time. To kill life, you need to be strong willed, a certain degree of training that no bomber pilot will understand. A day of a bomber pilot could be waking up at a late hour, when some men have finished half a day of work already, eat a hearty breakfast, drive to the base, get in the plane, fly a few hours, drop a bomb on a town or two killing thousands, flying back, buying dinner, going to the bar for drinks, having sex with women, sleeping, then waking up and doing it all over again. Time passes slowly as a sniper, your body having to be relaxed in a meditative yet vegetative state; but your mind as sharp as an eagle’s talons; grasping onto reality that you may catch your prey or you may not, but you have to be patient until that time comes.

It was a cool morning in Nashville as I stepped out the door to pick up the morning paper on my welcome mat. I waved across the road to my senile neighbour Jerry as he picked his paper up in an all too revealing bath robe. He was half blind too, and I felt sorry for snickering when he walked into his screen door on his way back inside. I put a pot of coffee on and sat down with my paper. I always start with the funnies section, though after the years, many of them aren’t funny anymore. There are about 15 funnies, but I only end up reading maybe 5 of them, most too political. I hate politics, never voted for this bumbling idiot, and I would gladly see that black man, whatever his name is, up there instead, so long as I don’t have to go to another war over his election. Forgetting the coffee, I finished reading the paper in a hurry. I was late for work, and had too much on my mind. I picked up my coat off the floor; it was probably knocked over or was on top of a coat belonging to my daughter Danielle on her way to school, she must not have cared to pick it back up. No frost on the windshield this morning, so warming up the car was quick and I was off in no time. What was puzzling me as I drove was the dream I had last night. I’m not much of a dreamer; I sleep too heavy I guess, or however dreamology works on the matter. But the dream was a fond memory of my childhood, until last night I hadn’t thought of it since I was in my late teens. The memories of the farm, my brothers, my smooth wood stocked rifle with its faded mahogany finish. My wife would know more on the subject, and I guess I would have to tell her when I get home tonight. She’s a dream interpreter, has been for over 20 years now, I’ve known her for half that time and I still don’t know how sleeping and dreams turn into science; I hate science too, but I never told her that. I haven’t picked up a gun since after the war. When the taxi cab dropped me off from the base at my house, I went to my cabinet, grabbed my rifle, ammunition, my notebook full of ballistics tables of recorded shots, cleaning rod and wiping towel and tossed them up into a special storage space up in the attic.

I drove into the parking lot and pulled up beside a good co-worker friend of mine Ted who works up in office management, he was just getting out of his land rover as I tucked my 2007 Mercedes-Benz Renntech SLR 722 Edition into the spot beside him.
“Morning pal” I said as I slid smoothly out of the car, all suave and debonair like.
“Wow, nice ride you got there” Ted said with awe.
“Yeah…cost me a pretty penny”
“I’m sure it did, wish the missus would let me pick up one of those beauties, but I’m stuck with this old rover”
“Well, hopefully you can get one as a retirement present to yourself” I said.
“Hell no! By the time I’m that old, something better will be out, besides, I want a camper so my wife and I can travel a lot”
“Just like every other old person” I laughed.
“You’re getting to be up there in the numbers as well, a few years after I’m done you’ll be gone too, and you’ll figure out that you’ll want a camper all the same”
“I’m not ready to come to reality that I will be getting to that age, but I do know that it’ll be a nice place in Canada that I will be buying, and not a camper.”

We walked into the building, said good morning to the front desk receptionist Cherry, who looked ready for a pot of coffee with the bags under her eyes and the chin resting on an angled arm hanging off the side of her chair.
“There’s that file that you wanted on your desk” said Cherry in a monotonous voice. “You have a meeting with some new clients, and your wife called and said that you have…an invitation to dinner with an old friend, she said they called sometime last night.”
“An old friend eh? Did they leave a name by chance?”
“No, though they said you would know where, when and who you were going to meet with this message.”
She stopped and stared at me.
“Well?” I said “What’s the message?”
“Ah hell! I forgot I’d put it on your desk underneath the file”
‘Make sure you remember next time Cherry, and watch the blashphemy”
“Yes sir, sorry sir, I’m not quite fully awake yet”
“Really?” I smiled. “Because you look like you could kick some ass.”

Do you remember that movie Mr. and Mrs. Smith? With the agencies that had contracts to kill people? There are such agencies as in the movie in real life. I’m part of an agency, one of the few that are unknown throughout the world. But my wife knows about my works at the agency, she doesn’t like what I do, but she understands that there are bad people out in the world that must be dealt with in some way or another. And I know my wife isn’t working for another agency because I have seen where she works and I’ve seen her working. She tells me stories about her day and asks me about my day and that’s what I like, it keeps me from going crazy with keeping my days of death and stealth, the shadows of my world kept back for just a few more years. The one real problem my wife has with my job, is when I go out to “conferences” and I might never return because if I get killed, no one will know who I am. I have I.D; for an alias named Ralph Orderi from Texas who’s an assistant director of operations at an oil drilling site. No one except my wife and my side of the family know who I really am. The only real person outside of the family that knows my true identity is Ted; I have enough trust in him that he will keep that locked away for only his recollection. Conferences are code for my wife and I when I have to tell my daughter where I am going for awhile.

The End

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