I remember the first time I fired a gun.
I happened to be sitting in a cliche-ly dark corner of the Punch-Drunk Line, down on Oak Street. There was the usual hub-bub that night.
Up to a point.
I was asking the barkeep for another pot of hot water when the door blew open, and a shadowy figure filled the doorjamb. Everyone turned predictably.
The stranger clunked to the side-back-corner corner of the bar, his black-pinstripe fedora over his eyes, the collar of his trenchcoat around his ears.
"Can I get ya something?" the barkeep asked apprehensively.
"Yeah," the stranger replied gruffly. "Y'got some joe?"
The barkeep slid some a mug across the counter, the stranger catching it perfectly.
I watched, interested.
I guess I watched a little too long.
"Whadeah lookin' at, huh?" the stranger snapped, his unseen eyes glaring in my direction.
"Nothin'," I said simply.
"Nothin', huh? Y'callin' me a nothin' now?"
"What's it to ya if I am?"
The stranger slammed his mug on the counter for enraged emphasis. "Y'gonna be sorry!"
I glanced at the table next to me. A pistol lay conveniently in my reach. I picked it up and fired it through the ceiling.
The stranger, the barkeep, everyone present jumped to see me, the quite writer, with a gun in my hand.
"Jimmy..." the barkeep whispered in awe. He shook his head in disbelief. "I never thought I'd see the day."
"Guess there's a first time for everything, Doc."