Test Drive


Pursuing fashion, I’ve bought myself a gun, which I keep in the glove box of my nondescript car. I don’t need a gun, but then I don’t need a car, though it’s good to know they’re waiting on the driveway in case circumstances shift. In the old days it was just fat cops, talking the talk as they waited outside downtown down-at-heel brownstones, but you can’t even trust the weather these days, so you need to be prepared, and everyone on TV and online has a gun and a car. It’s best to be unobtrusive and only go out in the twilight, when everyone has somewhere else to be, though they’re only extras on an hourly rate that I’m sure I’ve seen before. Maybe they were in ads for guns or cars, and I’m almost sure I recognise those hands from close-ups of sexy stick shifts and triggers. I don’t do faces, but I know satisfaction when I see it, and there’s no hiding the softening of edges at the purr and click of guns and cars as their temperature eases implacably higher. Think kids at Christmas or families reunited after years apart. I follow fashion like a buzzard follows a wounded deer. Think gathering in silence round a tree or a bedside. Someone I half recognise stumbles and the weather changes before they hit the ground. Think petrol station flowers as a car pulls away, its glove box snapping shut.




Oz Hardwick



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