On Thursday, I had been planning to go with Josiah to the Greater Pittsburgh Gun Club. He has a .17 HMR rifle that he was going to shoot there. But he had a shop accident and couldn't make it, and it looked like rain, so I went to Bullseye instead.
Bullseye is where Ratha and I had gone the one time we went shooting (when I got so discouraged because she was a better shot than me), but I hadn't been there since then. When I got there, I got some ammo and targets and started walking in the wrong direction, and the guy pointed and said “range is that way”. I ended up in the same lane Ratha and I had used. Between that and the dark and rain outdoors through which I had just driven, the whole setting was kind of surreal.
Now, I had taken my gun apart soon after I got it and it took me several hours to get it back together, and I wasn't 100% sure I had done it correctly, so I was a little worried that it would blow up in my hands or something when I fired the first shot. But no, that one was fine. After about a mag, though, a cartridge stayed lodged in the barrel and I thought I might have accidentally shot another one at it (I don't know what I was thinking) and I went and got the range officer and said “I think I might have just done something dumb”, but he explained to me that no, that hole in the side was where the extractor goes, it didn't mean I had destroyed my gun.
Meanwhile, I was shooting this cute .22 I didn't really know how to work, while there was a gentleman in the lane next to mine shooting .45. I was also getting a ton of failures to eject in my first box, and thought I must be doing something wrong, but I was luckier with the next two boxes. Or maybe the gun actually needed to be broken in, as I jokingly suggested when I checked out. Anyway, I had one target with colored geometric shapes, which I shot at first, at 25 feet, and one human-shaped, which I initially shot at 25 feet also, but I realized that was short enough range to be pointless, so for the last box I went out to 40 feet and shot an entire box at the target's head. Managed to hit 34 times.
On Friday I was planning to pick Ratha up at the airport. There was an annoying lag between the end of work and when her flight got in—just long enough that I needed to find something to occupy it rather than just killing time. So I decided to go back home. There, I found this (shown after I installed it):
I apologize that the picture is so blurry; it was taken with a long shutter exposure (probably a second or more) in very low light.
I'd been wondering for some time how I would feel when I finally received it. The beauty of the timing and the fact that I have been moving so as to implement more of my goals of late made my reaction sincere: tears. I actually had the ratchet tool to install it, too. When I drove towards the airport, blasting the list of my favorite music I'd made at Charlie's behest quite some time ago, I felt insanely powerful.
I got to the airport and wandered around trying to figure out where to meet Ratha, finally settling for the baggage claim area. She text messaged me when she landed asking where I was and I messaged her back, then started to compose another message to clarify, and while I was tapping out the second message she walked over and hugged me. I couldn't help inwardly laughing at myself. I drove back to Pittsburgh, we talked, we went to Eat 'n Park, we talked, we went back to my place, we talked, we slept, we woke up, I made coffee and we drank it, she decided there was no point in going to the morning sessions of Homecoming, we went to an Indian place for lunch, and I dropped her off at the UC turnaround.
It was a really good visit. In a way, it seemed like there wasn't enough time for anything negative to happen. :-)
I have some more stuff to write about, but these have been kicking around for long enough already. For now, one more tidbit: my gun is now officially named Chrissie, after what Ratha was called before she changed her name. Needed to shoot the gun to make sure the name made sense and check with Ratha to make sure she wouldn't be offended.