Illustration by Matt Bors.
I held the BB gun tightly in my hands as I stood in the tiny backyard of Kevin’s house. I had never fired a BB gun, but Glenn assured me that it was easy. I had met Glenn only 10 minutes earlier, and now I was taking firearms advice from him. I pumped the gun a couple of times to fill its chamber with air, took aim, and completely missed the flower that was our mutual target.
Shooting daffodils in a backyard wasn’t a normal activity for me, especially not with someone I had just met, but our mutual friend Kevin had convinced us to start playing some game called Dungeons and Dragons — D&D for short. We were outside while Kevin was busily creating a character with another one of my friends.
I was 12 years old, and talking to new people filled me with dread. It didn’t come naturally, so I needed a hook. Hence, there we stood shooting flowers and getting to know one another.