The Gunslinger

As a man walks through the park, he spots another man, solitary in his leisure. This other man appears to be a gunslinger. Slowly, the first man approaches the second. He can easily understand the skill of the other, steadfast despite the slight gnawings of time on the athletic body. The gunslinger doesn't shoot his pistol, but rather looks ready to, practicing his draw, quick but never in a hurry, the shooting body liquid yet coiled.

A risk is taken, the two strangers begin to engage. Very quickly he understands that the other speaks a different language: perhaps English or Chinese, maybe hiphop or youth, he cannot be certain. But he picks up enough fragments (archaeology in real-time!) to approach the other even more closely: about skill, about the grammar of a bodily linguistics being forgotten, about age, about geography, about family, about identity. A lot can be covered in a few minutes if the conversation is framed just so.

Here, the just-so in common was sport. Sport as linguistics and its potential for communicative action. He invites him to the upcoming contest: a showcase of marksmanship with others from around the world. An opportunity to touch others with the miniature cracks of blue lightning. A network location is passed, coordinates given. He reads the other's face, an open book. He says he'll be there.

On that day he'll still be a gunslinger, he thinks, but perhaps a different one.


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