People keep asking me what I’m going to do after this little adventure is over, and the simple truth is, I have no idea. I liked working with teenagers, so I guess I could do that again. I also like old people, but I don’t like watching them die, and I’m not sure what the job market has open for work with active retirees. I love traveling, but I’m not sure anyone will pay me to do that. So basically, I have no idea what I’m going to be doing in a few months. But now I have options I never considered: police officer, Olympic biathlon competitor, or mall security guard. Turns out I’m pretty good with a gun.
My old college friend Kristen found me my Mr. Indiana. They’re both medical school residents and work eighty hours a week. They don’t really have much time for social lives. (Her husband joked later that med school is a good time to swoop in on a person because they’re so darn happy to be dating someone that they easily fall for you.)
Mr. Indiana & I arranged to meet up at a shooting range -- definitely a new date location for me. There were display cases full of different kinds of guns and you could pick the picture you wanted to shoot at. (We went for the general body shaped target . . . not Osama bin Laden or any of the other choices.) Then we went into the actual room where people were firing away, and despite knowing that I was in a shooting range, I still jumped the first few times someone fired. I can’t say I’ve ever been around guns.
I’m gonna let you in on a little secret: loading 38 Specials into a revolver feels totally badass. As I was sliding each one into its little round hole, I thought, “This is like being in a movie!” I clicked the barrel shut, pointed at the target, and fired away. I was amazed at how much kick that little gun had. I mean, I’d heard that when you shoot shotguns or rifles or whatever those big ones are, you generally end up with bruises on your shoulder from the kickback. But this thing I was holding in my hand. It wasn’t teeny-tiny, but comparatively, it seemed fairly small. Yet when I pulled the trigger, the whole thing jerked up.
We took turns shooting. He’d fire off six shots, then I’d reload and fire six shots. We put up a fresh target and I got to shoot first. Six shots, six bullet holes in that body-shaped piece of paper. I took a picture. I’m not trying to brag, but I was pretty proud of myself, especially when another couple came in and the woman was obviously also shooting for the first time. Whereas I had gotten used to the sound of shots pretty quickly, she was still jumping every five or six seconds when someone in the room fired. She also didn’t appear to be too quick of a learner. Or maybe she just had poor aim. Or maybe she was afraid of the gun. I don’t really know. But I do know that I did better than she did, and although it wasn’t an official competition, I won. (I can’t help it.)
When we’d used up all of our bullets, Mr. Indiana asked if I wanted to go get something to eat. I sheepishly asked if we could go to Culver’s. I’d seen a billboard on the way into town and I hadn’t eaten at one since I’d left Colorado in February. It’s not a romantic date location, I realize, but dang it, I wanted a Butter Burger. We had a good conversation while eating. Med school and all that comes after it seems like a huge pain. Getting up at 4:45AM every day? No thank you. Getting home after 8PM every night? Seriously? You must really, really want to be a doctor to put up with those hours. Kristen & I had been out of college for thirteen years. Thirteen years is a really long time to be sleep deprived. I couldn’t even imagine it. I was glad Mr. Indiana had gotten out of the hospital to spend a couple of hours with me. I should have asked when his last date was. My guess is he’s probably too tired to pursue anyone these days.