Monday, July 16, 2012

The Pink Uzi

[The following is a fictionalized account of an actual conversation.]


It was a lazy Saturday afternoon in Pasadena. A friend and I, we’ll call him Cassidy, and a friend of his, let’s call him Gates, had been chucking a baseball on a grass field at a local school. Having exorcised this urge we retired to the nearby home of Gates’ mother. With cups of cool water in hand we absconded to his former bedroom, a room he had vacated more than a decade ago when he had left for college, yet the room remained as it had been after his final day of occupancy. During a lull in our nonsensical conversation, Cassidy noticed something unusual in the closet through the doors that were slightly ajar, something pink.

“Dude, what’s that,” asking his pal Gates with an unexpected amount of excitement in his vocal inflection.

“Oh, that’s a pink Uzi. Want to see it,” having reached into the closet and retrieved the Israeli-made submachine gun, he was holding it out to us.

“No thanks,” Cassidy and I declined on cue wanting not to contribute our fingerprints to such a highly illegal possession.

The room’s window blinds were mostly drawn, but the bright late afternoon sunlight oozed through well enough to clearly see the gun. Pink, yes, it had been spray-painted pink, but the black metal did show through in the numerous scuffed areas. He was handling it with the familiarity one might handle a baseball bat well honed after many hours of swinging at pitches.

“You know it’s illegal to own that, don’t you,” cautioned the knowledgeable Cassidy who was like a databank of reliable information when it came to firearms.

“Yeah, I know, but there’s no way I’m going to give that up. Besides, even if I wanted to, to whom do I deliver it and what do I say,” countered the gun-bearing Gates.

“Where’d you get it,” asked Cassidy.

“I’ve had it for a few years, since I was in college,” said Gates holding our interest with a long pause.

“Go on,” I prompted being enthralled now with the tale that was being spun.

“When I was in college I let someone borrow my car,” he began. “They returned the keys the next day, this was on the floor of the back seat,” he said as he rewrapped the machine gun in an old jacket and placed it back in the closet. “Turns out they let someone else borrow the car, unbeknownst to me, and the third party had, what I’ve always assumed, was probably a drug run. Maybe they left in haste at the end of the night and forgot it.” Cassidy and I eyed the Uzi but said nothing. He continued.

“I usually just keep it in my old golf bag, but I went golfing last month. Luckily I remembered to remove it so I wasn’t lugging it around the links all day, and, so, I left it in the closet wrapped in this jacket.”

Nothing more was offered. Cassidy and I, not knowing where to continue the questioning, simply let the subject go. We went out for milk shakes then parted ways. The Uzi was forgotten and not discussed at length until now.

[It turns out that time has taken advantage of my powers of recall. I spoke last week with the above mentioned Cassidy regarding this long ago Saturday afternoon. This Gates did, indeed, find a firearm in his vehicle after someone had borrowed it. But it was a rifle, not an Uzi, and he did keep it. When asked by the car borrower, Gates avidly denied having found the rifle. The pink Uzi that my brain remembered in its place was from a subsequent conversation that immediately followed the telling of the actual sequence of events involving the rifle. The pink Uzi was merely an item Gates strongly desired to own, but in no way managed to accomplish ownership. Over 16 years my brain simply transposed the rifle with the Uzi.]