How could I have forgotten that it is hunting season? How could I have naively entered the woods in tan trousers and a light colored coat with my blonde hair and have forgotten? How could I have taken my fawn-colored dog into the woods? I saw these signs and was reminded yesterday, that now is not the time for such reckless behavior as a walk in the woods.

I do love Autumn. In New England, it is, as expected, magical. But hunting season, I can do without, truth be told. Where I grew up the boys and men (and some of the women) looked forward to this time of year when they would load up their trucks with beer and guns and head to hunting camp or take a road trip to the southern tier where the deer are plentiful.

Me? I don’t get it. I’ve shot a gun before. I’ve shot quite a few, actually, but never at living things. Only cans and skeet. And I will tell you that it is exciting–thrilling to hold a gun in your hand and pull the trigger and hit something. There is a power in it.

It’s also really fucking scary.

I remember the first time I held a gun. What I felt was similar to what I feel on tall buildings where I have the power to stand still or jump. It is the strength of destruction and it is consuming.

It took a while, minutes, before I felt calm enough to squeeze the trigger. And then there was no stopping me. It turns out I was something of a natural. This was not something I expected or welcomed.

The man who taught me how to shoot a gun told me this: “Never pull a gun on someone unless you are prepared to use it.” That was one of his cardinal rules. It was a surprise, then, that only a year or so after he said this, he stood before me and put a gun in my face.

I do not like guns.

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