Ordinary enough, that night. It started out that way, anyhow. In fact, the details of the evening escape me up until the moment I walked into our bedroom to see him sitting on the edge of the bed, a shotgun sitting upright on the floor, right in front him, resting there like a third leg. The barrel of it pointing straight up.
"What the hell are you doing?" I asked him, tears already streaming down my face. We had been arguing that night about money, like we always did. He had been out of work for weeks and spent his days kayaking rather than job searching. The argument was typical. The circumstances were not new. The gun being introduced into the scene, now that was new.
"I don't deserve to live. I can't find a job. Isn't that what you're telling me? If I can't work, I can't live?"
"I'm not doing this," is all I could say as I left him like that, grabbing my purse and heading out the door.
I checked into the hotel down the street from our house. Once in the room, I lit up a cigarette and called 911. They took him in with no problems. Confiscated his granddaddy's shotgun, and put him in the local mental hospital for three days. That was the worst it ever got, and I didn't leave him right away, even though I should have. It's been a couple of years since we've spoken, but as far as know, he's doing just fine.