I should have said yes to the ear plugs. It had been a few years since the one and only time I’d fired a gun. Now the ringing in my ears reminded me the blast is a lot louder than on TV. I even forgot where I’d put my beer down as I struggled to regain my equilibrium. Safety first, I’d been told, always put your beer down when you’re handling a weapon. It was time to stop for a moment anyway, I had fired way high and possibly into a distant highway.
I’ve always known about that song that goes: ‘I’m in the OPP. Yeah, you know me!’ I never really knew or cared what OPP was or who the song was by. It was just a song that came on the radio every now and then and got stuck in my head for a day or so before I forgot about it completely for another six months. Then, as I sat behind bars in New Orleans and looked down at my orange jumpsuit, I saw printed the letters O-P-P. Then it hit me. Orleans Parish Prison! ‘I’m in the OPP.’ And there I was too. It was sort of like living a dream, but more precisely, a horrible, horrible nightmare.