i get shot

“I’ll come and watch Claire in the bath,” says Salome. “You come and open this damned wine.”

“My corkscrew’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with my corkscrew!”

“Good. Use it yourself.”

We change places. The cork comes sweetly out of the bottle, I hear Claire splashing around, then there’s a sound like a gunshot. Something hits me on the back of the shoulder and tiny shards rain around the kitchen. I duck.

“That sounded dramatic,” says Salome, sticking her head around the bathroom door. “What was it?”

“Don’t know.”

“Sounded like gunshot.”

“Yeah, that’s what I thought, but…”

Salome goes back in the bathroom. I think, the wine bottle? but it’s fine. Then I’m guessing, a light bulb? All the light bulbs are intact. There are shards of what look like glass on the floor, but they’re actually just white plastic. Finally I notice a tiny hole in the plexiglass skylight over the kitchen.

“Meteorite strike,” I tell Salome as I bring her glass of wine into the bathroom.

“Call the landlord! Oh wait, that’s right, you can’t!” she says, laughing. “Bet you wish you had a landlord now!”

“Dad-DY!” says Claire.

So I call Jeremy. “Hey landlord! Fix my skylight!”

“What happened to your skylight?”

“Meteorite strike!”

“Not likely,” says Jeremy.

We get the baby out of the bath and into her jammies. We drink our wine. Jack arrives. We pour a glass for him and tell our story. He’s skeptical.

“So where is this meteorite?”

“Couldn’t find it.”

Salome pokes around, looks under the bench. “Here it is.”

Jack inspects it.

“This is a round from a .22,” he says. “Some guy fired it up into the air, and it came down on your kitchen skylight. I ask you, what are the chances? I tell you what else, this guy was a real killer. See how the bullet’s been hammered down on one side? That’s so it tumbles when it penetrates flesh. Some gangsta three blocks away fired his .22 pistol in the air ’cause his basketball team won, and it came down and landed on you.”

“What should we do? Should we call the police?”

“Yeah,” says Jack, laughing. “They’ll get right on it. ‘Oh, we’ve got all these murders to solve, but wait, a bullet broke this chick’s skylight! We’ll be there right away!'”

“Can you believe this? Six years I lived at Alabama Street, not a scratch on me. I move to a better neighborhood, and BANG.”

“Did it hurt?”

“A bit. Do I have a bruise?”

They look. “No.”

We drink our wine. We look at the bullet. Salome says:

“I liked the meteorite story better.”

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