When he was ten years old, there, in the toy store window was a dream come true. He stood mesmerized, as the sun reflected off the fake chrome. Even though people walked past him, their reflections momentarily blocking the sunlight, he noticed not any less brightness; their earthly existence was immaterial. If they could have seen his eyes, they would have understood the passion of his desire. Then, alas, spell broken, he recognized that the Have Gun – Will Travel revolver set was probably far too expensive for a Christmas present.
Christmas morning arrived and the second box he picked up, the one after the new shirts, was too heavy to be more clothes. His mind flashed back to the toy store window; the bright chrome still illuminated his dreams. In a rush of paper tearing, the box so revealed was for Cheerios (?). His shout of joy did not leave his mouth, which was stuck open in disillusionment. Wait, not one box of Cheerios! No several boxes taped together!
Ripping away the cereal box wrapping, the treasure within grabbed that restrained shout of joy and released it into the world. The boy’s yell startled their pet bird, scared their pet dog, the neighbor’s dog; even the goldfish one room away. Within mere ‘seconds’ the holster was strapped to his hip; the Have Gun – Will Travel business cards, “Have gun, will travel; wire Paladin, San Francisco”, were ready to announce that the West was now in for a new dawn.
His draw was fast; faster than Dale Robertson in Tales of Wells Fargo; Wayde Preston in Colt .45; James Arness, Marshal Matt Dillon; and even Hugh O’Brian in The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp.
Yet, even the fastest gun will one day meet his match.
At eleven years of age, on a warm summer day, the person he faced had taunted him with “Hey, Quick Draw Mcgraw.” The other kids laughed. He tried to hold his emotions in check; cowboys need to maintain mental steadiness. His opponent borrowed a six gun holster set from the overweight kid; thus held left handed, not strapping it to the waist.
‘This will be easy,’ he thought. Nevertheless, you had to be alert; one needed to be alert for a Yancy Derringer four-barrel Sharps Derringer gun carried in a hat, or another one up a left sleeve.
However, his opponent did not even take the neighborhood standard of ten steps apart. No, his opponent simply walked up to him, said “Quick Draw Mcgraw, you lost!” and then she kissed him on the cheek and walked away!
When he was ten years old, there, in the toy store window was a dream come true. He stood mesmerized… A year later he again stood mesmerized until his friend said, “Girls don’t play fair.”
At eleven our cowboy was introduced to the power of a girl’s kiss on the cheek.
(He Stood Mesmerized is fiction, copyright Steven S. Walsky, 2014, all rights reserved.)